It doesn’t matter if you have ten friends or a million on Twitter, I guarantee you, some of the people on that list are spammers.  Actually, there’s probably a good portion of them who are spammers.  I know you know who and what I’m talking about.

Spam n. a disruptive, esp. commercial message posted on a computer network or sent as e-mail.

Example: How many people on this list of my followers are real and how many are spambots?

PS1391

Answer: Who the hell knows?!  I think 2 are real.  Keep in mind, this is a very small sampling and my followers list is cluttered with this kind of stuff.  I got an email today telling me that Carol Smith (belovedmuscle) was following me.  Um… Okay…

In the twitterverse, there are 3 kinds of spammers that I have encountered.  The first is the ‘increase your followers’ spambot that (I think) actual people (I think) have to sign up for (I think) which then puts out tons of crap messages on their account  like this:

PS1390

I hate those more than I hate the others because they fill up my damned Tweetdeck column and burn through my API calls!

Next are the ones who start following me and then start spamming me with @replies which fills up my damned Mentions column on Tweetdeck.  ARGH!

Lastly, there are the spammers who may not even be intending to be classified as spammers.  These are the people who tweet and retweet the same things over and over again all day long.  Not like the above screen shot, oh no – see, they tweet something in the morning; it could be a link to their blog or an article that they found – it could be something interesting.  Wonderful!  That’s a legitimate use of Twitter!  I applaud you and your efforts to drive traffic to your site!

…but then they send the same tweet again an hour later.  Exactly the same.  Not even the link is different.  The exact same tweet, just an hour later.  WTF, right?  Maybe it’s a mistake?  maybe they aren’t aware that they’re doing that?  …but then they do it again an hour after than, and then again in another hour, and another, all freaking day long, using up my API calls and annoying the hell out of me.

That, my friends, is a spammer – someone who is sending a disruptive, esp. commercial message over and over again.

And that is the challenge Twitter faces moving forward – stopping the spammers and spambots from cluttering everything up with this crap every day. And they need to get a handle on this quick!  It’s only getting worse and people won’t stick around if it continues this way.

~P