Sunday, July 26, 2009

Twitter knows nothing about Spam

Twitter is clueless. It doesn't know what "spam" is.

In order to prevent 'spam' in its tweets, it adopted a secret policy of 'filtering' accounts which tweet the same URL more than once within a certain secret time period. It never told people about this policy, so we couldn't have tried to comply with it.

Because I was passionate about keeping people up to date on the protests by indigenous people in Peru over the Peruvian government's attempt to destroy the rainforest, and had a collection of links on the subject which I was updating and reused, I was 'filtered out'.

For a month and a half a search for my account name "raybeckerman" would reveal none of my tweets, and a search for my name in "Find People" would not reveal the "raybeckerman" account.

To this day, I remain "filtered out".

Meanwhile, the whole 'solution' Twitter offered was ridiculous and unnecessary. Twitter accounts do not receive any tweets that are unsolicited. The only people who are burdened with reading my tweets are people who VOLUNTARILY follow me. Any of them who feel that they don't want to receive my tweets, just UNFOLLOW me.

Problem solved.

So Twitter created a solution to a non-problem.

Meanwhile it has a very very real spam problem which is making it more and more painful to be a Twitter member. The one thing Twitter members do receive unsolicited is "followers".

There is a major problem with the huge number of fake accounts. Out of every 10 accounts which follow me, probably 75% are spam accounts. So it has become a hugely time consuming task for the "real people" on Twitter to figure out which "followers" they wish to "refollow".

And Twitter doesn't have a clue what to do with this very real problem, which is the real threat to Twitter at this time.

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