Thinking Tech

Twitter claims it's winning spam war

Twitter claims it's winning spam war

Posting in Technology

Twitter says spam tweets are down to less than two percent after peaking last August at 10 percent, according to Twitter chief scientist Abdur Chowdhury.

Twitter is claiming it is winning the war on spam. Since some nasty phishing attacks that shut me out of Twitter for a few days last November, the tweets I've seen seem clean (given the volume, I probably miss 95 per cent of what comes my way).  The only Twitter problem I have encountered lately was Tweetdeck locking up but the occasional de- and re-install only takes five minutes.

Anyhow, "spammy tweets" are down to under two per cent of all daily tweets after peaking last August at 10 per cent with spikes up to 11 per cent, according to a March 23rd a Twitter blog post by Twitter chief scientist Abdur Chowdhury.

credit: Twitter

[Twitter calls it a blog, but it really isn't because it does not allow comments. Neither does its engineering blog which is pretty interesting. Google's official blog doesn't either. I suspect those blogs would be overwhelmed with comments, but is that a bad thing?]

But I digress so back to spam. Here's how Twitter defines it:

"At Twitter, we see spamming as a variety of different behaviors that range from insidious to annoying. Posting harmful links to phishing or malware sites, repeatedly posting duplicate tweets, and aggressively following and un-following accounts to attract attention are just a few examples of spam on Twitter," Chowdhury wrote.

Chowdhury does not explain how Twitter reduced the spam which I guess would be akin to the FBI giving out its formula about how it nabs terrorists before they act. The company trumpeted its progress, an Advertsing Age article profiling its Trust and Safety Team (sorry, subcribers only) and how to report spam or suspicious links to the Twitter police.

Follow this link to a video to the reaction to a Guy Kawasaki keynote speech last year where he apparently  talked about how to spam Twitter. Kawasaki has 225,000 Twitter followers and is a well-known tech guru and venture capitalist.

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John Dodge

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor John Dodge has written for the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, PC Week (now eWeek), EDN, Design News, Electronic Business, Bio-IT World, Health-IT World, Lowell Sun, Haverhill Gazette and Newburyport Daily News. He is based in Massachusetts. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure