Twitter needs to act urgently on direct message spam

As Twitter has grown, its appeal to spammers has grown along with it. From the earliest days of Twitter, spammers started targeting the service, but sadly the problem is becoming far, far worse.

The latest craze in Twitter spam is fake followers, who send a direct message to Twitter users stating something along the lines of “thanks for following me, check out my site (link).” I use the word craze in context: this form of spam isn’t new on Twitter, but it’s currently surging.

The picture above shows the DM spam I’ve received in the last 7 hours alone…and the rate is increasing. Before writing this post, I had three in a matter of 10 minutes. I can block them, or report them as they appear, but they are quickly replaced by new accounts.

There’s no official word from Twitter as to what they’re doing about the problem, if anything. The Twitter Spam account hasn’t been updated since July 13 (and before that June 30…then June 14) and the Twitter blog says nothing of the problem.

If they aren’t dong anything about it, they need to urgently. This spam is a cancer on Twitter and risks undermining the usefulness of the Twitter direct message system. It’s annoying enough for established Twitter users, but I’d think it would be worse again for newer users, and could in some cases scare them away, undermining Twitter’s growth potential going forward.