Twitter's War Against Spam

Twitter's War Against Spam

Twitter's war against spam started as a one-woman battle, and has now evolved to a 30-person team, one of the few inside Twitter which runs 24-hours.

The spammers too have learnt new tricks. "In the beginning, the spammers weren't very sophisticated," she says. "It was fantastic." Naive in the ways of Twitter, and thinking it worked something like the early web, the spammers would create accounts, and include links to the websites they were trying to promote in the account description. Unsurprisingly, nothing much happened. The early Twitter users knew better than to click odd-looking URLs, and recognised the accounts' lack of engagement.

"And then by God they evolved," says Harvey.

Diet pills and porn quickly followed, using tactics such as following huge numbers of people and then unfollowing them if they didn't follow back; those who remained would be bombarded by direct messages.

Catch the full story over at the Guardian for a behind-the-scenes report on Twitter's war against spam.

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