26 People Who Mislead You On Twitter

Earlier this month, I covered various ways people are spamming Twitter in my Twitter’s Real Time Spam Problem article. Since then, I’ve been diligently reporting some of the more annoying spam I see. Despite this, none of the reported accounts have been closed. So, it’s time for a public spam report — and some education along the way.

Public spam reports suck because often they just bring traffic to the company or individuals who were spamming in the first place. Nevertheless, I figure it’s worthwhile to do in this case to properly illustrate the problem.

Let’s do the name and shame part first (I won’t link to the accounts, but people can visit them directly):

  1. AdaCardwell
  2. AmazingMoney
  3. AmazingProfits
  4. AmazinTwitties
  5. AmberMoore48
  6. bizpromotion
  7. ChristineSnider
  8. EmilyBrown13
  9. EricaEsau
  10. EvaJimmerson
  11. ExpertMoney
  12. HeidiSomarriba
  13. JaneDDavis
  14. JaniceAnderson
  15. JoannaHill23
  16. GloriaHayes
  17. KimberlyCheek
  18. KristiHernandez
  19. Melinda_Martin
  20. NetworkPromoter
  21. onlinmarket
  22. PaidPerTweets
  23. Priscilla_Ortiz
  24. socialclicks
  25. SusanMccartney
  26. RichOffAdsense

I’ve spotted all of these people — technically Twitter accounts, it could be one person running them all — tweeting links that don’t match the content of what they’re talking about.

Let’s take AdaCardwell, who recently tweeted this:

Devver Promises To Speed Up App Testing For Ruby Frameworks – http://rubyurl.com/…

Interesting, right? And I especially liked the use of the RubyURL shortener to make it seem even more legit. Well done, sir, well done.

I’ve killed the actual link, so that I’m not giving any direct benefit to some pay-per-tweet program or affiliate along the way. It doesn’t lead to the “real” article or anything that matches the content of the tweet.

Instead, it leads me over to some supposed blog tips site. But then the trip is interrupted with an ad for another site, and you in turn get redirected to it. This other site is pitching a social “blasting” tool that no doubt helps other people do all the misleading crap that Ada is doing.

Where is the “real” article, by the way? Five days ago, TechCrunch IT tweeted the “original” tweet:

techcrunchit: Devver Promises To Speed Up App Testing For Ruby Frameworks http://tcrn.ch/4IL by @leenarao

Part of the bait-and-switch for Twitter spammers is to grab a “real” tweet like this and simply swap the URL with something else. My Twitter’s Real Time Spam Problem article has some further illustrations of this.

Earlier, I’d said I’d reported these accounts. That’s pretty easy to do. You follow @spam on Twitter. You’ll immediately get followed back. Then you can send a direct message with the spam report.

I’ve been doing that for two weeks now. Some of the accounts above, I’ve reported twice or three times. It’s done nothing. They remain active. Close them down, Twitter.

I know, I know. They’ll just come back. Hopefully, as I covered in my earlier article, Twitter will find a more automated way of stemming them. Certainly keeping them out of Twitter Search reduces the impact they have. And if Twitter can’t do it, then check out Clean Tweets, a Firefox add-on that helps (and see our review, Clean Tweets: New Add-On Zaps Twitter Spam).

As for those doing this type of misleading tweeting, you’re almost certainly too young to remember when in 1999, the US Federal Trade Commission took action against a site that was spamming search engines with listings that appeared to be about things like kids games but instead lead to porn. The FTC deemed that misleading advertising and shut them down. You sure you want the FTC potentially coming after you?

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Features: Analysis | Top News | Twitter

Sponsored


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • seanfargo

    Spam is definitely a big problem for Twitter. They need to hire some super smart search folks to come up with a PageRank of sorts to rank users and weight tweets based on re-tweets or something.

    I wonder though if Twitter Search is the right metaphor anyway for users. It’s not reliable, user friendly for 90% of the world, comprehensive, relevant, etc. It’s fresh and social and short (which I like most of the time).

    I really like the tweetnews use of Twitter for Search

    Like for this breaking query:

    http://tweetnews.appspot.com/search?q=Michael+Jackson

    It’s using Twitter as a signal to improve freshness/relevance on already authoritative, vetted news content.

    This puts less reliance on Twitter being spam-free to be useful in search. Maybe we should think of Twitter as more of a signal as opposed to the end result for search?

    Cheers — Sean

  • http://www.DeonDesigns.ca DeonDesigns

    Thank you Danny.
    Yes the spam is a big problem everywhere and now is even on Twitter.
    I really hope that Twitter will get a way to prevent this.
    Cheers,
    Michael

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com nickstamoulis

    Bravo Danny! There should be some sort of Twitter police (or even a separate social networking organization) that reports the big spammers out there wasting everyone’s time!

  • http://www.akworksconsulting.com cryptblade

    Nice post Danny. But my question is – how many people actually pay attention? I see too many people tweet and not engage in other people’s tweets, even the ones they follow. They just tweet and tweet and tweet. I recently read an article that talked about that – that everyone tweets, but who’s listening?

    My experience is that there are few tweeters…twitterers.. twits that say anything useful enough to actually follow them.

    Let’s look at what the measure of Twitter success is: # of followers. The more you have, the better right? But if the metric Twitter success (tongue in cheek) is ReTweets (RT) then it may signify actual engagement – something a bit more valualbe, I should think.

    Ultimately though, it’s easy to simply block an abusive, spammy Twit. Right???

  • http://cliquekaila cliquekaila

    Yes, agreed very nice post. I’ve come across many people spamming, and have even had clients who request me to utilize some of the spammy type tools out there. I just can’t bring myself to it, firstly because I only practice white hat activities, but secondly because I want to help maintain the integrity of Twitter. Why ruin a great thing? Besides…there are so many ways you can ethically provide your messages to your Twitter followers, IE the whole point, and why Twitter can be a great success for your company. Let’s not ruin it for the rest of us! :)

  • http://www.planetc1.com/ chiropractic

    Most annoying thing about twitter, and it appears to be getting worse each day, wish there was a way to filter spam from search queries via tweetdeck.

  • http://px.ns1.net/ px

    an easy cut+paste to report the list above for others.

    “d spam AmazingMoney adacardwell AmazingProfits AmazinTwitties AmberMoore48 bizpromotion ChristineSnider EmilyBrown13 EricaEsau EvaJimmerson ExpertMoney HeidiSomarriba JaneDDavis JaniceAnderson JoannaHill23 GloriaHayes KimberlyCheek KristiHernandez Melinda_Martin NetworkPromoter onlinmarket PaidPerTweets Priscilla_Ortiz socialclicks SusanMccartney RichOffAdsense”

    Here’s my list of 18 spam followers, I’ve reported and Twitter has yet to deal with.

    “d spam yplusone Jason_Bradshaw utrish findthem eroticgirls tigerguurl1 glamour_world BestBuyLEasing scenar freepornstuff robinsonbonnie8 phone_gis ecrowds yukertbella erategeorgia occaraccident tonijones2009 RatRaceEscape”

  • http://www.feeltiptop.com Gregory Martin

    Thanks for this and the previous report on Twitter spammers. TipTop search results provides one solution to exposing Tweeter Misleaders through an expand or shrink url feature for shortened links from tinyurl bit.ly and is.gd. Another way that TipTop excludes spam in its search results is through its message relevancy ranking and weighting secret sauce displaying Tips (positive to-do messages), Pits (negative don’t-do messages), or the Remaining messages in a two column interface. Hopefully we will all continue to come up with ideas to junk the bunk on Twitter http://feeltiptop.com/twitter%20spam/.

  • pradeepvs

    Thank you Martin,
    feeltiptop.com is really amazing. I loved it.

    Cheers,
    Pradeep

  • http://www.outsystems.com mozzello

    Twitter is a real social network, with little policing. This reminds me of Wikipedia, where the community not only generates the content but also marks it as inappropriate, incorrect …
    This mechanism should be added to Twitter, to leverage the power of the community to keep it clean (and ensure that it doesn’t have a premature death caused by spam).

    Currently you have a button to “block” a user, right?
    There should be another button to report as spam, and a simple rule like “3 spam reports will freeze your account”.
    If you were “frozen” away by mistake, then you could ask back in, and this would be validated by Twitter. Google has similar processes implemented for websites in general and Ads in particular.

    These technical improvements might be what saves Twitter from becoming an unbearable medium that no one wants to use anymore because its value has been zeroed by Spam. I hope the Twitter folks realize this and solve it quickly.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide