I opted out of Twitter’s ‘new follower’ emails a few weeks ago, preferring instead to sign up for SocialToo, which gives me a once-a-day email digest of new followers (and, more importantly, unfollowers, too). I wrote an article about my reasons, which you can read here.
During the day, I monitor my new followers on Twitter.com, and what I’m seeing lately is pretty disturbing – more and more spam. But specifically, it’s more and more of the same spam, namely the “Horny Hottie” and “Britney Fuck Vid” accounts that are hitting the network like a plague.
I’ve had several messages from people enquiring about these spam bots, asking how it is that they’re blocking them but then getting a new follow from what appears to be the exact same user a few minutes later. The reason why is that while these bots share the same name – that is, “Horny Hottie” or whatever – their usernames are all different. There are loads of Horny Hottie accounts chasing followers in Twitter.
The issue has risen to a point where I would estimate at any given time that 25-50 per cent of all of my last 10-20 followers are spam bots like this. Indeed, and perhaps appropriately, they often come in a threesome.
Twitter, here’s a tip from me to you: automatically ban ALL accounts that enter “Horny Hottie”, “Britney Fuck Vid”, “Boob Doctor”, “Your Horny Kitty” or any other obviously malicious crap as their ‘real’ name. It’s that simple.
Don’t give them another chance – just let them enter the name to set-up their account (which is of course done by a script), and then just block it. And keep doing it. And then add “Horny Hottie” to your blacklist. Log all the IPs and block them, too. And do the same thing for every other mass-spamming bot that comes along. We’re talking two minutes work each time, tops. Instead, you continue with the laborious process of removing them one-by-one, probably only after they’ve been reported by the increasingly-agitated masses.
So what if there’s a legitimate “Horny Hottie” out there? I don’t even care if that’s their real name. I don’t care if it’s Dr Horny Hottie. Let ’em pay the price for such a ridiculous moniker.
What disturbs me is that some people follow them back. Who, exactly? Who thinks: “Yeah, that seems like somebody I want to get to know better!” And it’s not all users of auto-follow scripts. While you’re at it, Twitter, you might want to block these people, too – nobody who willingly follows Horny Hottie has a place on the network.
Each and every week spam is becoming more of an issue on Twitter. I’m astute enough to not follow these accounts back, and they can’t actually spam me unless I’m following them, but they do get followers, and they’re stinking up my follower stream. I don’t suffer this issue on Facebook, even though I have a public profile. I know you’re busy verifying accounts and all, and that’s good, but this is becoming a real issue, and your inability to handle it is a little concerning.
PS. While you’re at it, can you auto-block anybody who follow/unfollows me repeatedly over a 24-hour period? Cheers.