May 18, 2009

Alright, When I Say Go, Hit the Spam Twitter Button With All Accounts

When a product becomes ubiquitous, it means you get the good with the bad, the well-meaning with the nefarious, the intellectual with the sloppy. As we saw with e-mail being overtaken with aggressive marketers, spam and eventually, viruses, the same activity has propogated to every social network with momentum - including the 419 scam on Facebook we discussed in January, and the many different reports of spam on Twitter. (See: TechCrunch's coverage of similar nonsense earlier today: A Bunch Of Hot Spammers Had The Day Off Of Work LOL.)

Like any good egotist, I regularly check references back to the site, be they on Google, in my referral stats, and the two T's - Technorati and Twitter. Today, I was amused to find that simultaneously, nearly two dozen different accounts referenced an article this I wrote this last weekend. Never mind that their link didn't work. Never mind that they all used the same exact way to write it, including the exact same description or tags. Even more interesting was the fact that all of the accounts (be they robots or real people) used the exact same Twitter client, HootSuite, and the automated messages look like they were executed in alphabetical order, starting with the account labeled "18tweets" and finishing with "Tweetingale".

The last time we talked about Twitter spam, it was with the issue of repeated following. In that example, theories suggested the repeated followers were to gain visibility and more real followers from duped Twitter accounts. So what are the purposes of this type of nonsense this time? Is it thought that those people searching for these keywords would find these accounts and sign up? It's not as if they pushed any traffic to my story, thanks to their not providing HTTP code.

Yet another "stupid human trick" executed on an increasingly sketchy network.