James Mayes

Blog: Reporting for spam on Twitter? What’s reasonable?

In Community, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Twitter, Twitter Tips on November 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Got in a debate yesterday with someone reference reporting spam on Twitter.  She doesn’t, I do.  Twitter themselves want to fight spam and have hired more for that team recently – and one of the things they’ll no doubt be doing is building smarter algorithms to challenge spam accounts faster.

One of the main learning points for those algorithms will be the accounts that people have manually reported for spam in the past, so by playing an active part, I’d hope I help improve both my personal experience of Twitter – and the quality of the platform as a whole.

For my part, I tend to report the following types of account for spam:

  • Those who Follow/Unfollow instantly, just in the hope of bringing themselves to my attention.
  • Anything that spams a whole bunch of individuals (usually iphone giveaways in my case. No idea why).
  • Those that tweet nothing but promotional sales material AND @mention me without good cause
  • Any application account that causes my own account to tweet without my express permission.

The last is probably the one that annoys me the most, but I guess it’s actually slightly off topic for this post.  Returning to the point, my friend (she’ll identify herself in the comments if she wants!) says no – she feels everyone and every business should feel free to use Twitter as they wish.  I’ll accept that, provided those actions don’t deliberately downgrade my experience of the platform.

What I’d like to do now is update this post with my thoughts – but before I do, I’m going to throw it out there…. I being unreasonable?

  1. Everyone is and should be free to use Twitter as they wish, within Twitters “rules”. Reporting spam is part of that freedom and I can’t see any issue with your actions.

    If the action is malicious then it’s malicious spam. If it’s direct marketing without engagement then it’s junk mail spam. If the app misbehaves it needs reporting. Reporting these activities is probably an issue of principle or ethics for some. So if it is then stay true to those principles or ethics.

  2. I am a spam reporter!
    The main way I’m targeted is through key words, so if I tweet about weight loss, I get spammed about it.
    I’ve set up a vetting process now so I can easily block this who just spam tweet.
    I don’t think its ever going to be perfect, but the more people who report it, the better the experience for us all.

  3. Thanks for the opinions. As always, the blog can be a handy sanity check…!

  4. I tend to report the obviously spammy accounts although they’ve usually been suspended already. The endless self-promoters I just block. Those who follow/unfollow to get attention I don’t always notice, unless I get a follow message several times in which case it flags itself.

    What I particularly dislike is people re-tweeting an @ message that I didn’t intend to go public, usually a nice comment or compliment -I don’t think people realise that retweeting other people’s compliments without their permission is extremely rude, and is likely to result in you not getting any more nice @ messages from that person. So that’s just ignorance/poor usage. Sometimes I challenge people about it, but mostly not.

    I agree with you though that if you spot behaviour that’s spoiling the experience of twitter then you’re absolutely within your rights to do something about it!

    • Oh, interesting dislike on the RT of a compliment. Not something I tend to do often (though I think I might have once or twice in the past!). Not heard that perspective before. I’ll give it more thought, thanks!

  5. … [Trackback]…

    […] Informations on that Topic: musingsfromsussex.com/2011/11/30/blog-reporting-for-spam-on-twitter-whats-reasonable/ […]…

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