Spam is killing Twitter

Twitter’s spam problem has been getting steadily worse, despite claims that they’re taking steps to stop the spam. It has reach the point where any time I mention a device whose name begins with ‘i’, I get as many as 10 spam replies. These spammers all follow a typical pattern and are very easy to identify.


Twitter spammers are easy to recognize

These spammers almost always have a generic icon, no followers, aren’t following anyone, and almost all of their tweets are @replies.

Twitter should be able to identify them and automatically block them. Until they do that, Twitter’s usefulness is severely limited.

Asian domain name scam

Today I got this email, which I thought seemed a bit fishy.
Scam Email

A little googling revealed that Marco Arment received almost the identical email, which turned out to be a scam. If you get one of these, don’t fall for it or you could end up paying a lot.

Copycat splogs

I checked my Akismet queue and as usual I found a large number of splogs copying my posts. One interesting thing I noticed is that many of them use exactly the same template. Either one person is running all of these, or there’s some standard software being sold or distributed for stealing content. I’m sure this post will end up in a splog before the end of the day.

spamblog 6
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!
spamblog 5
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!
spamblog 4
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!
spamblog 3a
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!
spamblog 1
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Yes, that’s Nick Danforth in the top left, whose video they used without his permission.

More Content Theft

Less than half an hour after I posted this item earlier today, I found that it was already scraped and republished in a splog. To prevent this in the future, I’ve installed the ©Feed plugin, which adds a copyright notice to each item in my RSS feeds that will appear in any scraped content saying that it was stolen.

Stolen Content

Checking my Akismet queue, I found several trackbacks from spam blogs scraping and reposting my content. They all seem to be using the same template, usually starting with “(some blog name) wrote an interesting post today…”, always giving it some random name linked to my blog.

Stolen Content
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

I don’t mind my feed being included in an aggregator, but this is pure content theft.