There seems to be some confusion about spam. If a spammer follows you, it really does not matter all that much. It is when you follow a spammer that you will be subjected to their content-until you unfollow. Spam accounts following you are not gathering information in that way. If they want to gather information, they use Twitter search and even an account you blocked can find information about you and anyone else there. The only information that is not available in Twitter search is protected updates and those who are “gone from search”. (See article) Even an account that you blocked can go to your page and read your updates, unless they are “protected”, but protecting your updates seriously limits your ability to gain followers, so what to do?
Unfollowing a spammer is usually plenty. The only types that need to be blocked are those who repeatedly follow and unfollow you, those with graphic avatars and those who are not even following you, yet send an @reply to you and usually a few others grouped together, containing a link to something you do not care about.
Spam accounts are normally set up in multiples or armies of bot accounts. A bot or robot, in this instance, is a completely automated account set up for the sole purpose of broadcasting a single message or set of messages that do not include networking. Often a bot account will only tweet messages including links to their purpose.
Most spammers are bots programmed with annoying outgoing messages. It could pop up in your @replies now known as @mentions. The only people who see their message are those who follow that account or those whose names are included in @mentions within that tweet or spam sandwich. They tend to target Twitter users with lots of followers, grouping them with friends to gain trust. This type of spammer shoots its message out with no following relationship with you. The only way to stop seeing them is to block.
Spam sandwich messages are the worst because they insinuate that you know the sender and try to establish trust by showing you with your friends. Your friends think you believe it’s ok, so they may click on the link. Trust is the fabric of Twitter! The worst of this is that you could be swept up in a “spam cloud” when Twitter is cleaning and accidentally get suspended from Twitter even though you did NOTHING to provoke or cause it! (See article)
If you are following someone with an annoying tendency toward spam, yet they do not send to you directly, simply unfollowing is sufficient.
So, how do you avoid spam on Twitter?
- Do not follow accounts that will spam you and unfollow if they become spammy.
- Block accounts with graphic avatars or that include you in a spam sandwich message containing a link to something you don’t care about that is directed at a few people who are not even followed by said spammer. <~ Those are the worst!
Large accounts, such as the accounts of stars, don’t worry about who is following them. They worry about who they follow. That is the only thing they can reasonably control. Since we are “Reciprocals”, we follow a lot more accounts than stars and must approach it differently. The important thing in avoiding spam on Twitter is whom you follow or don’t follow, not who is following you, or the stars would be at constant risk, wouldn’t they?
by Anita Nelson
by Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies on Twitter – Follow me!
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