Twitter Spammers Are Stealing Your Tweets

Twitter, followers, tweets, spam, fake, accounts

Never tastes as good as you hope it will…

With each technology that advances our culture, there is the inevitable down side. With the telephone came bad telemarketing and phone scams, with the television came crappy infomercials (and in my opinion, reality TV), and with the internet came spam. Each of these has advanced in their own way, and the typical scheme has been to sell you something. Twitter spam is becoming it’s own beast and seems to serve multiple functions. Some are pretty obvious, like the:

“Hey @robzie81, how would you like 1,000 followers in 5 minutes? Click here —> http://bit.ly/clickforgarbage”

Or one of my recent favorites:

“@robzie81 Someone is spreading vicious rumors about you http://bit.ly/clickitstupid”

These ones get the delete pretty quickly, but there are some that I’ve seen becoming pervasive in the Twittersphere that are a different breed. They’re Twitter accounts, obviously made by people who’s first language is not English, with stock images as their avatar and occasionally very poorly written bios. These accounts typically have a handful of followers, likely from their own circle, pretty legit sounding names, and the content of the tweets is typically flush with keywords. Some are copy/pasted from other users’ tweets, with any @ references removed and thus making them make no sense, like:

“Can’t wait for my training session with #itsbeentoolong”

Something seems out of place there, doesn’t it? I also come across some other copy/pasted versions that seem legit at first, until you see them show up 30 times in a search, word for word. Examples:

“Dear shaving commercials, stop shaving hairless legs. If you want impress us, please shave a gorilla.”
“I’m so hungry! “Didn’t you just eat?” “Yeah… So?””
“My poor school :( I have lost everything in my classroom. Floods up to my waist took over everything. God help us. :(“
“I wasn’t that drunk ‘Dude, you were in my closet yelling “where the heck is narnia”‘

There are some tweets that are poorly written, but are obviously targeted to show up in business searches. Keywords for everything from spas and salons, gyms and restaurants are planted in tweets like the below:

“It’s my lucky day..I buy new bikini with 50% off :)”
“hello friends…,is there anyone ever try acai berry, i heard it’s good for diet and health”
“I am thinking about getting a 1971 Ford Pinto for a new car”
“Oh no, my dog pee on my pillow again…twice this week grrr…”
“On early call out for a military exercise, one of my colleagues used this excuse: I had to round up a group of Giraffes on the motorway (…”

Twitter, tweet, business, keywords, spam

Hm. Do we see a trend developing in this search stream?

My guess is that these accounts directly relate to the first example I mentioned: Paid Twitter followers. This then leads me to my final point, and please excuse my use of all caps, but: NEVER PAY FOR TWITTER FOLLOWERS. The likelihood that your account will be followed by the garbage accounts above is pretty high, and they will do nothing for you. Organically building your Twitter presence will get you real followers (and the occasional bot that will follow you, but what can you do?) and will create a community of conversation that will actually be useful to you. Take the time to put out interesting, relevant content, follow other people and businesses that you find interesting and they will often return the favor if they find your content worthwhile.

What other kind of Twitter spam have you seen, besides the notorious bikini-clad porn accounts? Any other creative things you’ve seen? Have any of you bought into the ‘pay for followers’ scheme already, and if so, what kind of followers did you see?

Let me know below with your comments. Also, be sure to check out some of the best/worst REAL Twitter users have to offer by checking out my weekly post, Found Tweet Friday.

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

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Found Tweet Friday


Found Tweet Friday!

October 25th, 2012 (For all you horror movie fans, today is Chucky, the Notorious Killer Doll Day, also World Pasta Day. Yum!)

Welcome to the Redlight District of Twitter

I spend a good part of my day using Twitter to find potential customers for my clients. I use the Twitter search function and locate people talking about relevant things that could translate to needs my clients’ products or services could fulfill. During this digging through the nonsense, the marketing messages, the slang and abbreviated hashtags, I find some pretty ridiculous tweets. Many that make my jaw drop. It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that their tweets are completely public while they treat their Twitter conversations as if they were private. Some of those are simply too offensive or gross (not to mention misogynistic and lewd) for me to bother posting, but below are a collection of this week’s gems that I just had to share. My occasional commentary will be the parenthetical portions. Enjoy!

****Warning: Some content may be inappropriate for young or easily offended readers****

Found tweets:

  • exercise…ex…er…cise…..ex…ar…..size……eggs…are…sides….for bacon. bacon. (Yeah, that thought process sounds about right…)
  • Any time you’re feeling pretty accomplished, remember that Stevie Wonder is blind and you can’t play piano. (well, I was feeling awesome.)
  • He shaved his eyebrows and wears a fucking mermaid tail while he raps on a pogo stick! He’s so interesting! (I mean, I think I’d at least give that a look. Where’s the YouTube video for this guy??)
  • Totally just sneezed into my hair and got a booger stuck in it in front of a customer. #fail (Ew. And…just ew.)
  • October, go home, you are drunk. Stop being summer, drunk October. (I’d just like to add #Texas to the end of this.)
  • Honey Boo Boo’s mother has a boyfriend and you’re single. Just let that sink in for a moment… (Ouch…)
  • That time dad lied to mom about pulling out and mom lied to dad about taking the pill and BAM! Awesomest person ever was born. (;  (That’s…uh…quite a way to celebrate your conception, but good for you!)
  • a serious relationship will get you pregnant before it gets you a ring ladies . sad reality right ? (Wow, what reality are you living in buddy? I’ll tell everyone I know to steer clear.)
  • if i told you that a flower bloomed in a dark room would you trust it (I…just don’t know. This is a seriously deep, contemplative question.)
  • Just for the record, I never wanted this to happen. My core vowels said stick through it. (I don’t think A,E,I,O,U and sometimes Y were what were telling you to press on my friend.)
  • Right now thousands of white women in San Francisco are doing a blind zombie march into the sun’s asshole. (WHAT?)
  • Still not 100% sure that Jeepers Creepers monster is not in my back yard and I saw that movie like 10 years ago. (Some things just stick with us. We can’t pick and choose.)
  • at the end of the game the king and the pawn go in the same box . (I actually like this. It probably was said by someone famous, which means credit should be given.)
  • That awkward moment when it’s a cold day & the toilet seat at the stadium is warm… (This made me uncomfortable for this person…)
  • Feeling like the Little Engine that Could…with a whole lot of expletives. (That’s like me at the gym!)
  • Just saw a man literally cut in half from an accident and was still alive…the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen! (And you think YOU’RE having a bad day…)
  • Lololol Michael thinks he deserves everything. Dude, you have Fs and a felony. You deserve a bed and food. Fuck you. (#ToughTwitterLove)
  • Our generation doesn’t ring the doorbell. We text or call to say we’re outside (This couldn’t be more true…)
  • The best time to propose at a restaurant is right after you order but before you pull up to the window. (Somewhere in the middle of the tweet, we took a wrong turn.)
  • Damn lunch break is done and I’m still teaching the brown whale how to swim (I…don’t believe I’ve heard that one before.)
  • Does the purple cat bark at the right place on the hairy mole when the rooster wakes up? (Who…what….I….my brain just fell out.)

There you are folks! Obviously, some weeks will be less interesting than others, but I hope you enjoy it. Also, if you ever see any great tweets worth pointing out, send them to me at robzaleski1@gmail.com and they might make the list!

Now go get your social on!

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That Social Media Mojo

For a while, I lost my mojo. I became disillusioned with the overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t keep up with blogging, social networking and my job, and I didn’t think blogging was getting me anywhere. I didn’t think anyone cared, wasn’t sure if anyone was reading and I felt like I was just pumping out my content to no one. So, I stopped. I haven’t written a blog post for weeks. I wanted to, but then I would just get flustered and tell myself that it didn’t matter anyway. I considered deleting my blog, but I didn’t. I’m glad that I didn’t.

I received a comment out of the blue this week on a post I did a couple months ago. It was an engaging comment and in the end the person thanked me for writing the post. This small gesture reminded me why I blog. I don’t do it for constant comments, retweets on Twitter or raving fans. I do it so I can connect with people who are interested in the same things I am. I do it to share information with those who are seeking it. The glory of the internet is that posts just float out there, and can show up again when people are looking for them.

I sometimes look at the big names in blogging, the social media pros, and I wonder how the hell they have time to still have a life. I realized it’s because they don’t try to do everything. They focus on the things that are most important to them, keep the peripheral in mind without completely fragmenting their focus, and thus are able to have time to do other things. I’ve wanted to be so “engaged” that my focus has been in too many directions. I haven’t been able to give anything enough attention, because I was trying to focus on everything. And so, just in time for Halloween, I’m coming back from the dead.

blog, blogging, blogger, zombie, social media

The horror! The humanity! The blogging!

Also, I’m currently reading a pre-published copy of Chris Brogan and  Julien Smith’s “The Impact Equation” (affiliate link) and I’m already telling you to pick it up when it hits on 10/25. You’ll love it, and be inspired by it. These guys are no b.s. about how to make an impact, and it’s not the same old crap you hear everywhere else.

How do you keep your social media mojo going? What inspires you to blog, even if you’re not getting the engagement you wish you were?

Let me know below with your comments.

Thanks for reading. Now go get your social on!

Follow this blog on Google Currents! Download the app in your app store or marketplace and click here to subscribe.