Turning Up The Heat On Spam

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Turning Up The Heat On Spam

Twitter is not in the inflatable boat business contrary to this week’s flavor of spam. Despite the fact that there are apparently lots of “surprisingly attractive” inflatable boats available for financing, these updates and other spammy accounts are unwanted junk affecting good user experience. Inflatable boats will sink as we work to fry all forms of Twitter spam. So, what are we doing?

Suspended Accounts

Today, we launched a new admin tool which allows us to more efficiently deal with spam when we spot it. Our support staff can now more easily review and suspend spam accounts as well as visibly change the content on the profile to read, “This account is currently suspended and is being investigated due to strange activity,” so that others may be warned.

Community Powered Alerts

Suspending a spam account only works after it’s already caused some damage. We have enhanced our admin tools to more accurately factor your feedback for a more timely diagnosis. When you block a spam account, we take note—when more people start blocking a spam account, we go to red alert. Blocking also puts that account out of sight and out of mind so you don’t have to see it anymore.

Dedicated Personnel

It’s unfortunate that this has to be done but we’re going to hire people whose full time job will be the systematic identification and removal of spam on Twitter. These folks will work together with our support team, and our automatic spam tools. Our first “spam marshal” is starting at Twitter next week.

As always, fighting spam is a sustained activity. There is no magic wand we can wave or switch we can flip to make it all go away. Spammers will keep finding inventive new ways to advance their motives and harm user experience and we’ll keep shutting them down and slowing their progress. We just wanted to make sure everyone knows that we are taking spam seriously.