Using Twitter, direct messages can only be exchanged with a follow, but mention spam, or @spam, on Twitter is an insidious way to circumvent this and build click traffic… until you get busted. This helps keep spam to a minimum if you are discerning about those you follow.
But those who understand the value of “@” mentions and track them Twitter through an app like Seesmic Desktop2 or a smartphone app that notifies you of mentions are vulnerable to exposure. It’s somewhat harmless, but that’s where sharing the “follow love” doesn’t protect you.
Here’s an egregious example that prompted me to build a list called “Twitter Spammers.” Notice how a string of @mentions come from wingnuts I do not follow:
Check out my Twitter profile to add the list to your profile and see who the latest twits are.
The dingbats have found a way around the “social” aspect of social media and are exhibiting anti-social spam behavior.
So, what can you do?
Well, report the users for spam, first.
Then, if that doesn’t work, send your suggestions to me and I’ll add them to my list which is checked by our friends at Twitter.
And, you can create a list called “Mention Spammers”, let me know and I’ll follow it and report listees with you.
Why am I doing this?
Because as a University of Maryland-trained journalist, I have grown very fond of the concise quality of 140-character tweets. They get to the point fast and I can decide quickly whether or not I want to dig deeper.
Let’s crowd-source a solution to this and keep the Twitter-sphere unpolluted
All the best,