Blocking Twitter spam

About six weeks ago, just after first joining Twitter, I naively clicked on a link sent to me by someone I follow asking me to join their ‘mafia family’.

As I new Tweeter I was keen to impress and join in the game and signed up, only to find the Mafia Family Game began to direct message people I was following inviting them to also join the game on their behalf.

By going to twitter.com/account/connections, I managed to sever the connection to the Mafia Family site and, while most people were very understanding about it, others seemed to think I had burned their first born at the stake.

While it was all mildly annoying and not a little embarrassing, it was probably not the end of the world – but there does seem to have been an increase in Twitter spam over the last few weeks, mainly from people I know offering me untold riches which I know they don’t have, but on the upside at least makes a change from the latest  Nigerian businessman or Cameroonian princes who wants to share their millions with me.

The latest attempt came this morning from the profile @MariCrosbykbr who simply had tweeted my user name alongside a shortened URL. Sure enough it took me to an adult site called Sex In Your City – the last thing I need mrsworldofjames to see in my browsing history with me now working from home and our wedding just six weeks away.

While Twitter’s Spam Watch has long been giving good advice on how to deal with irksome Tweeters (follow @spam for more), the launch of a new ‘report as spam’ feature to Twitter last week is a more than welcome addition to the site.

To use it, when logged into your Twitter account, you can now report a user direct from their profile page. In the actions section on the sidebar there is now a ‘report as spam’ link.

A pop up message will ask for confirmation, just click it and the user will be investigated by Twitter.

For those who use Tweetdeck, spam can be reported by hovering over a user’s profile pic in the bottom right corner and clicking on Other actions/User/Block and report spam.

It’s always useful to refresh your knowledge of Twitter rules too, see here for the list though I wonder where the one on ‘impersonation’ leaves all the fake Richard Bransons on the site!

One thing to remember to NEVER do is RT a spammed message… it could see you inadvertently banned.