If things continue at this rate, Twitter 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 spammers 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 spam 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 engagement 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. Posted by Jack Yan, 23:51
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