Twitter Spam

Ross Mayfield today raises (via Clay Shirky) another issue that is, I believe, the inevitable outcome of what I mentioned in my previous post, about the end of Twitter:

But you may have noticed a rise in @reply spam. Real and fakester accounts are being set up and using @replies to get messages into the view of users who aren’t following them. Some marketeers have seemingly mastered the meeting, like the ShamWowDude (not to be confused with the ShamWowGuy).

Twitter already fights the good fight against phished Avatars, but the war is escalating and changes are inevitable. They have the advantage of being able to kick bad users according to their policy. And disadvantages given what Twitter is (its hard for me to imagine traditional spam filters applied to neartime communications at this scale).

The Twitter spambots have always been on the site, but as noted above, it is intensifying. This is the inevitable outcome of the mainstreaming of twitter.

Twitter’s a business; like any other, it needs to make a profit. But as it grows, and as the pressure to find ways to monetize increase, we will have much less space to talk, and debate, and converse, as our tweets are increasingly co-opted for corporate interests.


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