Is TweetBacks getting spammed already?

Steven Hodson

UPDATE:The author of the TweetBacks plug-in has been really quick to respond to this problem and after updating to the newest version of the plug-in (1.2) it looks like the problem may have been solved. If you have used a previous version you are advised to update to the newest one and in the settings for the plug-in clean out any past saved TweetBacks that may have been saved. Thanks to Joost for being so quick to respond.

Just a couple of days ago now Joost de Valk release what promised to be a really neat plug-in for Wordpress powered blogs. It was called TweetBacks and the idea was pretty simple. For as long as there have been blogs there has been what they call Trackbacks. the idea is that when someone writes a post that links back to something I have written my blog post gets a ping and then records who wrote what and where. It was a way for bloggers; and our readers, to be able to see where else in the blogosphere someone is talking about the same thing.

What Joost figured out was that all those Twitter messages flying around with links to blog posts were the same kind of idea and like Trackbacks had value so did these Twitter trackbacks – or TweetBacks as he called them. Great idea and one that I implemented on my home blog thinking it would be a great way for people to share what I had written.

The problem with the original Trackbacks though was that they became the playground for spammers and it has gotten to the point that there is no value in them anymore. So it would seem is the same fate of TweetBacks.

I was hailed in IRC today by a friend who asked me what was with all funky error messages that were part of the TweetBacks on a post. As you can see by the graphic above in less than two days TweetBack has been hit by Twitter spammers. the post that the screen cap was taken from has about 30 plus bad TweetBack. But here's the interesting thing just about all of them are from before the date I posted the post.

The really irritating thing is that because of the TweetBacks are stored in the database as comments I will have to go through and manually delete them all. The other problem is that even though they are stored as comments they don't go through the normal spam checking that comments do.

Once more it seems we have a potentially really good tool for bloggers that like FF2Disqus was released too soon. In the meantime I have removed the plug-in and will be deleting those trackbacks. At the same time like FF2Disqus I am not sure if I'll be so willing to give TweetBacks another try anytime soon.