I get a fair bit of spam. Every day I delete about 400 messages that my spam filter catches; this blog has amassed over 7,000 spam comments in six months or so; and now, Twitter is getting spammy too. I’ve noticed a rash of twitter-spam-bot followers recently, and am quite confused as to what they are trying to achieve.
All of the accounts (I’ve blocked nine over the last two days, including Britney Reed, Mallory Burt, Meagan Wolf, Suzanne Ratliff, Lacey Potts, Katy Bean, Beryl Buchanan, Bettye Stein, and, just now, Eliza Holden). Each of them had posted exactly one tweet (a rather boring message along the lines of ‘I’m bored, e-mail me here’), and had a moderate number of followers. The images were all the same style, also obviously automatically generated. This spam seems strange because they aren’t trying to sell me anything through links, and who is going to type in their e-mail addresses?
Then there is the other kind of Twitter spam I get, in which somebody into marketing with 10,000 followers and lots of banal tweets, wants to tell me all about cruises in Florida or how I can make money in through some scheme/scam. At least I understand (on some level) what those people are doing. If this trend continues, I am going to have to get a Topify account and a Twitter client that makes it easy to report spam. See this TechCrunch article for links to various clients and an interesting discussion of Twitter spam blocking strategies.
I also don’t understand why I get so much e-mail and blog comment spam in Russian. Surely they could target it better than that! What’s the point of posting Russian-language comments on a blog that doesn’t have anything to do with Russian or Russia?
Although as it happens, I find some of it quite educational in a perverse way, and have learned a great deal of current Russian slang on a variety of topics from the e-mail and blog comments. I wonder if there’s any money in that kind of a service.
Update: Having received a couple of additional Twitter spam-bot followers this morning, I took a look at whom a particular bot (Lupe Dudley) was following: In the 36 (of 1540) people shown by default, there were 15 Javiers, 14 Mauricios and 7 Jimmys. I suppose this means that either they are all manufactured (but then why with such repetitive names?) or that the bots scan twitter subscribers based on some name pattern. In any case, this is yet another bit of mysterious weirdness around this twitter spam.