Spammers on Twitter and FriendFeed: Really a Problem?
May 7, 2008 7 Comments
Spam is a well-known issue in the email world. Personally, I’ve set up an email account used specifically for some online applications requiring an email address, just to manage the inevitable spam that will result. Spammy comments on blogs are also an issue, which Askimet handles nicely on wordpress.com.
But is spam an issue on Twitter and FriendFeed?
Two things I’ve recently read discuss the issue of spam hitting those services. One is on TechCrunch today, “Twitter Starts Blacklisting Spammers“. From the post,
You know you’ve made it as a communications medium when you start attracting spammers. On Twitter, the problem is getting bad enough that the service is starting to blacklist people who spam other members.
The other was more a question in one of the comments on another post on this blog:
I would just add that, although I love FriendFeed, I would not be surprised to see, as FF gets more popular, it too is overrun by silly people and spammers, to where its traffic sent is huge but equally as useless. These social sites go through a lifecycle of usefulness to pointlessness on their own.
Am I missing something here? If someone is spammy on these services, you simply unsubscribe. This isn’t email. Someone can’t start sending you spam on Twitter or FriendFeed just because they have your member URL. I do see spammers subscribe to me on Twitter, but I never subscribe back. I don’t see their spam.
I can understand the service providers wanting to manage this. But for members, the beauty of these tools is their permission-based nature.
You can’t spam me unless I let you.
UPDATE: Good discussion of this on FriendFeed (here). Mitchell Tsai notes the possibility of comment spam on FriendFeed.