Twitter claims victory in anti-spam battle: but can it win the war?

Twitter mobile logo

Twitter’s sending out a warning: stop the spam. The social network has settled a lawsuit against automated marketing tool TweetAdder, effectively barring the service and its creators from going anywhere near a tweet ever again.

Twitter has been taking a hard line on spammy accounts and the services which enable them recently, going after a number of providers who help users violate its terms of service and automate functions on Twitter. TweetAdder, along with a host of competing services like TweetAttacks, TweetBuddy, Troption and Justinlover, targeted by Twitter recently, with some services belatedly attempting to remove the functionality which contravene’s Twitter’s rules. According to All Things D, litigation is still ongoing with all the other providers except for TweetBuddy, who also settled with Twitter and has now shut down.

TweetAdder, which bills itself as “THE Ferrari of Twitter Marketing Software”, allows spammers to target accounts related to their interests, automatically retweet, direct message, follow and unfollow them, and target users mentioning a specific hashtag or keyword from a centralised dashboard. According to the terms of the settlement, which came into effect yesterday, TweetAdder is restricted from sending out any “unsolicited commercial messages” to Twitter users or suggest that using its services will prevent a Twitter account from being suspended.

The service is also barred from “creating, developing, manufacturing, adapting, modifying, making available, trafficking in, using, disclosing, selling, licensing, distributing (with or without monetary charge), updating, providing costumer support for, or offering for use, sale, license, or distribution (with or without monetary charge), any software or technology designed for use in connection with Twitter’s service, the use of which would violate Twitter’s Terms of Service.”

While the move is just a small step in reducing the amount of spam drifting around on Twitter, it does serve to reinforce the notion that service providers have to play by Twitter’s rules. Last year, the service began removing access to providers who replicated Twitter’s core functionality, and frequently suspends accounts which are suspected of excessively using automated software. Its rules and best practices lays down regulations on everything from duplicate @replies to posting unrelated tweets using a trending hashtag and aggressively following masses of users, but enforcing them will be an ongoing effort.



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.