Twitter Spam Bots

Twitter spam bots are getting a lot more interesting.

Yesterday at roughly 3pm I posted a twoot about doing linear regressions and becoming a stats nerd.

This morning, I am informed via e-mail that I have a new follower.

Now one must note that I do not run a cult of personality. I do not get random followers who I don’t already know. So my first assumption is that these followers are always spam.

In the early days of twitter, you would get tons of followers simply because people believed it was like the early days of the web. The more outgoing and incoming links you have, the more relevant and plugged in you are.

But very shortly after, the spammers marched in to piss on everyone’s cornflakes. You started getting followers every day. Twitter was very sluggish to respond, so I took my account private because it was the only way to prevent these assholes from showing up in your followers list.

Recently I opened it up again, and things have changed.

Still spam, but definitely more interesting spam.

Like the SEO link-farmers that have fucked up your google search results, twitter spammers are now employing some tricks to fool spam algorithms. They are using keywords to populate their tweets, using a combination of retweets and simple copy and pasting.

They almost all employ a woman’s name along with a pretty, but not model-hot picture of a woman for the profile. Apparently because guys are stupid.

once every twenty or so tweets, you’ll get a link to the real thing they’re trying to advertise, which apparently is almost always —– wait for it —— software for spamming twitter.

Apparently they’re taking whatever keyword they’re using for aggregating content, and also using it to send follow requests to people who are using it in their tweets. In this case “stats”.

Twitter really needs to allow you the ability to have public tweets and let people “follow” them, while at the same time requiring your permission to have them actually show up as an official follower.

Or they need to introduce a google+ type feature where you have circles. One would be “People who actually care about what I’m typing here” and another would be “random fuckwads who are almost certainly spammers”.

But the block and report mechanism is a joke.

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