Just a few days ago, Twitter warned that its new efforts to combat spam would become more noticable over the coming days.
Recently, we’ve seen significant impact by introducing limits around how many accounts can be followed on Twitter under certain conditions. These limits are designed to not affect the vast majority of users. However, some people (who are not spammers) have (and will) run into them.
Those days are here.
Brent Csutoras documents one case where a Twitter account, with 830 followers, and 5,616 updates, was prevented from following more than 2,000 people.
This morning I went to test and see if I could follow more than 2,000 and found that I was still given the error message.
I talked to a buddy, who did the same test over the weekend, and as of today he also has the same message and result.
Twitter is not the only one to try and combat spam. Reports suggest rival Pownce is doing the same.
So, why is spam even an issue, when you have to actually "follow" the spammer, in order for him to be effective. Well, I’m not a spammer, so I’m not sure, but here’s one scenario that Twitter could be attempting to prevent.
If spammer "Viagra4U" followed 10,000 other Twitter users, the chances are that most of those users would have their account set up to alert them of any new followers. Now, Viagra4U’s profile includes a spam/trojan link, and his updates likewise do the same. If enough people clicked through to view just who "Viagra4U" was–and why did he follow them–some of them might just click on a link.
You may be savvy enough to not fall for the above, but plenty of others don’t share your mad Twitter skilz.
Anyway, what do you think of the limits? Are they needed? Or has Twitter gone too far?