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Spotting a Twitter-spammer: the mouseover method 

If things continue at this rate, will cease to be useful. Each day, I pop into Twitter, and find I have to block more people than I leave as a follower. There is a theory—with some weight, incidentally—that those with too many followers who are actually bots and can get disabled by Twitter. So it is in Tweeters’ own interests to maintain a clean followers’ list.
   There are other posts on how to spot a Twitter spammer. But there’s one more way that users should know about, and it only takes several seconds.
   Here’s one Tweeter (shown at left) that I suspect of being a account. I am not saying this person is a spammer (the content is marginal, in my view), but their following list is typical of others I have encountered that are. It happens to be the one that inspired this post: it was one too many using this method that other Tweeters should know about.
   How did I know? I ran my mouse over the photos very quickly. And I watched my status bar to notice that over a dozen of these guys have the same name as me.
   For someone who only began Tweeting a few days ago (September 9) and has six Tweets, it’s pretty unlikely they manually found 690 people. I imagine that there is a script finding people with the same name: the top row (the newest) are guys called Joe. So it’s finished with the Jacks, and it’s started on the Joes. It doesn’t have to be your name—any name of which there are more than half a dozen would be enough to sound my alarm.
   Even if this person is not a spammer, I don’t really want to have someone following me who resorts to automated bots to find followers. It defeats the purpose of on Twitter.
   You should still look at the content of the Tweets, the ratio of following to followers, and whether or not they are sending heaps of messages via API; but for me, this “mouseover” method is a very quick way to prompt me to block someone.
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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