Thank You Twitter Spammers

Somebody somewhere is “teaching” people how to “build massive networks overnight” I just know it. Well with love from me to you, *thanks.

I started seeing profiles following me [ @andrewburnett ] which disturbed me. I have only been on Twitter since May 2008, since then I have seen some disturbing things, but not like this! Things that may put me off following back are the content of tweets or the website a follower has listed on their profile. There is a freshly laid dog-ploppy on my doorstep of late.

The Nature Of The Beast

These are devilish wee blighters, I’ll give them that. To start with I wondered how they did it, 1000+ followers with under 50 posts. It doesn’t matter HOW they do it (essentially what they do is add roughly 2000 people overnight, wait a couple of days and unfollow most of them again). What matters is WHY they do it: By getting huge networks of “blind followers” they have a larger target audience to unleash their nonsense on.

The Nature Of The Web

A prime example is plying her (or his) trade as I write – I’m making screenshots of the progress s/he is making. I took screenshots at 18:02, 22:41 and 23:32:

following 1999 and 1717 followers with 22 updates, really?.
18:02 1999 following 1717 followers 22 updates.
following 105, 1653 followers and still 22 updates...
22:41 105 following 1653 followers 22 updates.

back to following 1912, got 1906 followers and made 35 updates.
23:32 1912 following 1906 followers 35 updates.

The Nature Of The Web Pt. II

As I write this there is a phishing attack appearing on Twitter, you may have seen it. Direct Messages are sent from friends saying “hey! check out this funny blog about you… h**p://” [link broken on purpose] the page you land on redirects you to another page inviting you to sign in to twitter. The sting is the page asking you to log in is very, very, VERY bogus. [Further post to come.]

What Next?

This twitterer will build up a following of however many thousand and over time become more difficult to spot. Then again, someone who wants to “build a massive network overnight” isn’t interested in the long term and will give up.

*thanks because the more intelligent of these halfwits have given up but didn’t stop following people. This inflates my number of followers making me seem more important than I really am.

Thanks again for following me mister/missus spammer but don’t expect a follow back :)