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Posts Tagged ‘spam on twitter’

The Latest Twitter Spam Scheme Is All About Lists

Over the past few days, Twitter users have reported a strange new (and spammy) trend: They’re being added to dozens of odd-sounding lists.

Lists in an of themselves aren’t spammy. In fact, they’re one of the best ways to network and keep tabs on select groups of accounts. However, lists have recently become the latest hotspot for spammers, as they look for new and nefarious ways to get unsuspecting users to click their malicious links.

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Why Twitter Needs A Spam Filter

Twitter is doing a lot to combat spam. The dedicated @spam and @safety teams work their little cotton socks off identifying and removing suspicious-looking tweets and accounts, and there are many ways that users can help out, either by reporting spam directly to Twitter, or using a third party app.

However, it’s not enough. It seems like you can’t comment on anything that’s popular and in the mainstream on Twitter – iPads, iPhones, Starbucks, BMW and KFC Double Down sandwiches (just me?) – without getting a loosely-related, keyword-alerted tweet from a spambot a few moments later. And while it’s certainly true that users can and should be playing their part in battling this menace, it simply isn’t viable that we have to rely on Twitter to then manually take care of everything for us.

No, what we desperately need are email-like spam filters on Twitter. And we need them now.

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Twitter’s Del Harvey On The Evolution Of Spam And ‘Accidentally’ Suspending Biz Stone And Evan Williams

The Guardian has a great interview piece with Twitter’s resourceful (and ever-upbeat) Del Harvey, who in her two-and-a-half years at the social platform has gone from tackling a moderate spam issue on Twitter all by herself, to becoming the lead of a rapidly-expanding and continuously-challenged Trust & Safety team.

The biggest problem? As her team has grown, so has the size – and intellectual evolution – of the spammers themselves.

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Twitter Cuts Percentage Of Tweets Containing Spam From 11% To 1% In Six Months

An impressive-looking chart from Twitter which, if it is to be believed, warrants a deserved round of applause. In just six months, spam on the network has been slashed from around 11 per cent of all tweets, to just one.

Twitter Cuts Percentage Of Tweets Containing Spam From 11% To 1% In Six Months

(Read more at the Twitter blog.)

Are you seeing less spam? I’m not so sure it’s as dramatic as the graph would imply, but I’ve certainly noticed a difference in trending topics of late, which used to be almost entirely overwhelmed by spammy tweets looking to take advantage of the sudden popularity of a subject.

That said, reply spam is still an issue. And I’m pretty confident that direct message spam is not included here, as I’ve seen almost no improvement in this at all in my test accounts.

Of course, if you rarely venture into trending topics and maintain an optimised network, spam has likely never been much of an issue for you. But it should give us all confidence that Twitter has made this effort and seen these kinds of results.