Here’s a screen shot that pretty much tells the story of why a once fairly intriguing form of communication has gone down the tubes so quickly. Spammers are now piling onto Twitter in swarms and very few people seem to care, and even fewer are willing to point them out for you.
I took the screen shot above a week or so ago – and it’s not at all an unusual point in Twitter time these days. It shows the messages that are specifically addressed to me (on Twitter these are called “@ messages”). It also shows the folks who have recently followed me.
At the time of my screen capture, no one of any use or value was sending me a message or following me. But, quite a number of spammers and vultures were.
Be Still My Heart
These kinds of vermin crawl out from under their rocks and accost you just about any time you send off a tweet. Zillions of them are following you, and zillions of them are following every other Twitter user.
So, who are these icky people? Well, it only took a few days for Twitter to hoist @FreeKindleBook2 right out on their little backside. You see, @FreeKindleBook2 was an outright spammer – linked to a bogus site. And, yes, they’re gone, good riddance.
It’s hard not to notice, but they were following 640 people and only 43 followed them back. I guess not that hard to notice, because those 43 sure didn’t.
The moral is don’t follow people who follow way more people than are willing to follow them back. Or, maybe the real moral is don’t be one of those people yourself.
Who Else Came to Twitter Town?
Well, @Yonjs8 tweeted to me specifically (I feel so special) that they were now hiring and also offered a link. Even though I desperately wanted to get hired by someone, I had no doubt that if I clicked the link, my computer would have burped Cheerios and nails for the rest of its life, so I didn’t. But, of course, just like with email spam, a small percentage of us do click –and that’s why these criminals find social media such fertile ground.
As for @BDvissablla176 and @YoungNatividadN Twitter has not thrown their tushes out yet. Maybe, just maybe, that’s because… well, no, no, no we are not going to go there, this is a family friendly blog.
@BDvissablla176 gave up on Twitter after sending out only 3 tweets. Maybe that’s because she was crushed that I did not respond to her offer to go to the “next level of networking.”
These kinds of Twitter spam offers are one of the reasons it’s far less likely that people will reply to your “@ messages” these days. They simply can’t tell your legitimate message from the punks and slime balls, and they’ve given up trying. Since communicating with other people is one of the most important aspects of Twitter, this spells some significant trouble for Twitter.
And Miles to Go
Finally, my last follower from the picture at the beginning of this article is @YoungNatividadN. She keeps on merrily tweeting away, every hour of every day. She finds no time to sleep at all – ever. You can actually see this for yourself, but why would you? We’ve done it for you.
The point is that Twitter keeps trying to kick off the spammers, and it succeeds in a tiny minority of cases. But, Twitter is woefully outmatched and outmaneuvered by the vast majority of spammers, sleaze balls, idiots – and automatons like Natividad.
But, Twitter is So Hot
Yup, it’s true. Now, more than ever, big companies like GE and Target are joining Twitter and crowing about it in their advertising. Celebrities like Lady Gaga and TiddyTwiceTea are hopping on board and gushing away. And television is so enraptured by Twitter that it’s positively embarrassing to watch.
But, unless you want to sell your soul to corporations or you just want a new version of People magazine on your desktop, you have to think long and hard whether it’s worth the hassle of weeding your way through this kind of guck.
You also have to ask yourself. Why are there so many social media boosters willing to sell you on the idea of Twitter? And, why are there so few that will mention the evident and important drawbacks? But, I’m sorry, you have to be the one to ask that, and I hope you will.