We’ve all had “spam followers” on Twitter. Presumably this is done to promote websites and products. Most of it is idiotic, and the accounts get closed pretty quickly. I just discovered one, however, that impressed me greatly. Some smarter spammer out there came up with this.
At the risk of educating spammers, I have reviewed some Twitter spam to help educate ordinary folks who use Twitter. Here it is:
Where are the updates?
In detecting a spam account, the most obvious bit is no updates and following lots of people. This spammer solved this with the following update:
i just deleted my old updates. i don’t like living in the past. lol
Where is the picture and website link?
Twitter reviews pictures and website links. If you are spamming, it’s a great way to ensure your account gets manually reviewed. This spammer clearly knew this.
But lots of people follow this person.
Spammers have started to track the “auto-followers”. It wouldn’t be hard to figure it out. Follow somebody and see if they follow back 30 seconds later. In order to appear not to be “spam”, this spammer followed all the auto-followers first.
Most Twitter users are male (I’ve seen demographic stats all over the map, actually, so this is actually a “best guess”). Nonetheless, males are probably more likely to follow absolute strangers than women. This person chose the name “Kristen”, which implies “female” and “under 40”. Judging by the text (no capitals, poor punctuation, “lol”, they were trying to appear younger). And what red-blooded Twitter male gentleman isn’t going to want to follow a young lady named Kristen from Miami.
They waited about 9 hours before updates. It appears more natural than one that’s 5 seconds after the other – then none for days after that. In the second update, they put the spam. And it says nothing about the site itself, other than her “sweetheart” sent it to her.
So, how do I know this is spam?
Well, I’m guessing. I suppose it’s possible this is a real person with something interesting to say that happened to delete all her old updates. I’m just guessing it’s highly unlikely. Spam rating: 8/10.