Twitter Spam

I have been engaging with my Twitter followers over the last few days about Twitter Spam, Blocking and so on. Most of them ferverously block any ‘spammy’ people that follow them. There were two things that interested me about this

  1. What constitutes spam on Twitter
  2. Why bother blocking people

I’ll consider the latter first. There was an overwhelming consensus that blocking people was the Right Thing and that not blocking spammers gave them validity.

From my perspective actually blocking them is giving them validity, it’s proof that they are getting to you. It takes time to consider an account and the decide to block or not. Whilst I’m certainly not in the upper eschelons of the twitterati with tens of thousands (millions these days, I guess) of followers, I am followed by about 10 people a day, and to be honest, I don’t always have time to look at who they are. As far as I am concerned if someone interacts with me on Twitter then I will check out their account, and that’s the crucial point. Simply being followed on Twitter can not constitute spam when at most you receive a new follower notification, which can be turned off…

So what is Twitted Spam. Something becomes ‘spammy’ when it starts to interfere with your standard routines, when it forces you to take part unwillingly in some activity. Real Twitter spam is when tweets are injected into your @reply stream or you are flodded with direct messages.

And for the first time in the history of my twitter use this has happened. And it wasn’t from anyone random that followed me, but from a viral game injecting messages into the Twitter stream of those I follow. At one point polluting it so that the latest 20 tweets where all about it. #spymaster was the most effective twitter spam (viral marketing?) campaign to date.

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