Spammers on Twitter can be pretty easy to spot — they’re usually the ones posting sketchy links. Bots should be pretty easy to spot too, unless they’re social bots. But when it comes to trolls, it is rarely so black and white. A new tool called Trolldor uses nine metrics to identify trolls, bots and spammers.
According to the FAQ page, Trolldor hopes “to combat the defenselessness of Twitter users.” The company aims to do this by creating a blacklist for trolls, offering any Twitter user the ability to report another user and to check the status of others using Trolldor’s metrics. The metrics are:
How much of a user’s feed is their original content vs retweets
How many links a user posts
A user’s comparative rate of @mentions
How many followers they have that have accounts older than 10 days
How many of their followers have less than 30 followers themselves
Number of followers with accounts less than 30 days old
Number of followers that speak the same language
Average tweets per day
Age of account in days
This information mostly breaks down into bar graphs that show users in green, yellow or red. Checking any given account will likely turn up at least one yellow or red metric, but if a user presents with more than a few red marks, they may be a troll, spammer or bot.
Trolldor’s FAQ page doesn’t mention the metrics as a reason to report users. Instead it suggests users should report creeps, instigators, those with false identities or those threatening others, which is where the blacklist comes in.
Once three users have reported a troll, the troll can choose to apologize to have the mark removed — and potentially change their ways — or they can remain on the blacklist. Trolldor hopes to improve the quality of Twitter by shaming abusive users.
Converting the mass of trolls into upstanding Twitter users who produce thoughtful content is probably a long shot. However, if abusive users are called out regularly, and can be checked against a blacklist, the service could do a lot of good. At the very least, you could enter yourself or your business account into Trolldor to see where you might be going wrong.