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Beating the Twitter spam tsunami

Discussion in 'Domain Name News' started by Acorn Newsbot, Apr 23, 2013.

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  1. Acorn Newsbot

    Acorn Newsbot Junior Member

    Jan 2006
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    Not so long ago spam was almost exclusively associated with email. But it’s evolving fast and these days spam is just as prevalent on social networks, where it’s increasingly being used to distribute viruses and malware.

    Take Twitter, where spam is spreading like wildfire after a slow and steady start. By April 2012, for example, the Twitter email phishing scam problem was so acute that the network resorted to suing five well-known spam tool providers in the US federal courts. But there’s much more to it than spoof emails.*

    In a Twitter context some spam tweets contain viruses and other malware. Others are generated by underground marketers who sell retweets, and there are probably millions of spoof Twitter accounts too. Nobody knows how many out of the 500 million or so registered accounts represent real people and how many profiles have been generated by spam bots.

    Forbes survey hints at the extent of Twitter spam

    According to a survey by Tristan Louis, reported on the Forbes website, just under 43%* of the users they surveyed were fake, 30% or so were inactive and only 27.44% were active. When the figures are extrapolated to cover the entire network, it hints that just 137,000,000 out of the network’s 500 million users are active.* It’s obviously a good idea to know how to recognise and report Twitter spam. Here’s how.

    Common spam tweets an direct messages

    First, train yourself in the fine art of recognising the most common spammy tweets and direct messages. The examples below usually download viruses, spyware or other malware onto your machine when you click the link. This is what they look like.

    •*You look different in this photo
    •*My friend sent me this pic with you in it
    •*You look like you lost weight in this video
    •*Someone is saying really bad things about you on this blog*
    •*Lol u didnt se them taping u
    •*Lol ur famous now
    •*Your in this link
    •*Have you heard millions of people are making $5k+/Mo from home? heres how
    •*Was this blog you posted really necessary?
    •*Is this some kind of joke?
    •*I just found out who viewed me on Twitter! find whos watching yours
    •*Viagra,cialis,soma,tramadol and more. no prescription.
    •*Gain over 1,000 followers a week by using this

    You get the picture… if in doubt, ignore and report it.

    Tip: Look out for bad spelling and text-speak, both of which can indicate dangerous spam.

    How does Twitter define spam?

    Twitter itself defines spam like this:

    •*Posting harmful links (including links to phishing or malware sites)
    •*Aggressive following behavior (mass following and mass un-following for attention)
    •*Abusing the @reply or @mention function to post unwanted messages to users
    •*Creating multiple accounts (either manually or using automated tools)
    •*Posting repeatedly to trending topics to try to grab attention
    •*Repeatedly posting duplicate updates
    •*Posting links with unrelated tweets

    How can I tell if a user isn’t real?*

    •*No profile photo
    •*A profile photo of a semi-naked young woman or man
    •*No profile
    •*A profile full of links, with poor spelling

    Sadly the most sophisticated fake accounts retweet as well as tweet, include realistic profile pictures and complete profiles. Many even link to websites they say they own. Sometimes they’re spottable, other times it’s much more of a challenge.

    As Jim Prosser, a Twitter spokesman says, “Forty percent of our user base only consumes content. What looks like a fake account to one individual could actually be someone who is on Twitter purely to follow people — like my mom, who follows me and my brother, doesn’t have a profile bio and has never actually Tweeted herself.”

    How to report Twitter spam

    To report spam accounts visit the spam account's profile, click the person icon to see a drop-down ‘actions’ menu and click on ‘report @username for spam’. The network will block the user from following you or replying to you, but it doesn’t automatically mean their account gets suspended.

    To report spammy tweets individually, click on the … symbol and, choose ‘report @username for spam’.

  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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