Twitter Goes After Spammers – Hard

Twitter filed suit in federal court in San Francisco today against spammers. The suit goes after tool providers “that willfully encourage and enable the distribution of spam on Twitter.” Yay, Twitter!

Just as Facebook and Google, Twitter has had enough of the malicious links that clutter users’ streams and seems prepared to follow through and shut down the spammers that muck up the platform.

Following in the footsteps of other industry leaders who have used similar legal tactics in fighting spam, an announcement on Twitter’s blog today shared this most excellent news: Twitter is going after spammers. Hard.

With more than 140 milion users and a flock that is rapidly growing, Twitter recognizes that it has “become a more attractive target for spammers” and “how distracting it can be.” As a result, in conjunction with Twitter engineers attempting to combat spammers by implementing technological safeguards, the microblogging master has decided (according to its press release) to “add another weapon to our arsenal: the law.”

The defendants named in the suit are: TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, TweetBuddy, James Lucero of and Garland Harris of Twitter claims the defendants are in clear violation of the Twitter Rules. And Twitter hopes to stop these providers as well as discourage others from creating new tools, as this excerpt details:

With this suit, we’re going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter.

While this is an important step, our efforts to combat spam don’t stop here. Our engineering team continues to implement robust technical solutions that help us proactively reduce spam. For example, earlier this week, our engineers launched new anti-spam measures within Twitter to more aggressively suspend a new type of @mention spam.

Twitter’s press release also references Twitter’s new link shortener (, launched last year, which analyzes links for malicious content and shuts down abusive accounts. And Twitter encourages folks to report and block spammers, per usual.

Having recently acquired the security firm Dasient and actively growing its spam engineering team, Twitter is significantly invested in beefing up its security and fraud protection and in creating scalable technical solutions.

The goal is to send a clear message to all would-be spammers that there are serious and costly consequences to violating Twitter’s Rules. Do you think this will make their point? And do you think it will stop spammers?

(Law image from Shutterstock)

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.