I will keep this short. Twitter spam is rife and is often delivered in the form of DMs (direct messages). A spam trend over the the past year has seen messages like the below spread like wildfire. I thought people may start to learn and we would see the reduction of these messages but it seems to be on the rise again. I’ve taken out the links incase anyone clicks one.

  • Hey this person <link usually here> is spreading horrible rumors around about you…
  • A horrible rumor is spreading about you <link usually here>
  • they got u on <link usually here>
  • OMG ur famous now haha <link usually here>
  • hey this user is writing cruel posts that are about you <link usually here>
  • what are you doing in this viddeoo <link usually here> ROFL < amazing spelling of video!
  • fb is really giving 100 % frree ipadss 2 <link usually here>

There are other messages doing the rounds, however these seem to be the most common. Notice that they tend to alert the user to the fact that someone is dissing them in some way or another.

Stop clicking the spam DMs!

When a Twitter user clicks one of the links in these messages, their account is automatically hacked, meaning that their Twitter followers will most likely then receive the same spam message that they clicked on. What are the outcomes of this?

1 – You really hack-off your followers by potentially opening them up to risk
2 – You are aiding the growth of this utterly pointless malicious spam

Point one is bad if you are a personal Twitter user, but if you’re a brand/organisation using Twitter and your followers receive a spammy DM from you then it hardly creates a great impression and may well lead to at least an ‘un-follow’ and quite likely a nasty tweet coming your way.

What you need to do if you click a twitter spam DM

1 – Quickly send a public tweet, explaining what has happened and telling people not to click the links
2 – Change your Twitter password – there is no evidence that this works, however it’s wise to do this after any security breach
3 – Go to twitter.com €“ settings > applications and revoke access to anything that looks dodgy
4 – Never, ever click a Twitter spam DM again!!!

Hopefully that’s helpful folks. If you have any questions about Twitter spam, feel free to ask in the comments below.

Mike McGrail

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Image used under creative commons and via arnold on flickr

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