Block and report with one simple click.
Spam has been a problem on Twitter since it became mainstream over a year ago. It’s an extremely frustrating situation for those of us who want to use the service as a social networking tool — to actually meet and interact with other people who we find interesting. We’re the ones who follow up on new followers and actually read incoming @mentions (or @replies) and direct messages.
I’ve urged people to report spammers using the @spam Twitter account. But now there’s a better way: The Report For Spam link on the person’s profile page.
This example shows it quite clearly for a spammer account that began following me today. It’s the last link in the Options area. Clicking the link displays a confirmation dialog to make sure you really do want to block the account and report it for spamming. Click OK and the job is done.
What kind of account activity is considered spamming? The Twitter Support page, “Reporting Spam on Twitter,” lists many examples of what the Twitter folks consider spam. I recommend that you read it if you’re not sure what Twitter spam is.
In this example, the spammer had followed hundreds of Twitter users, likely because they’d tweeted using a keyword the spammer had programmed into a bot. The spammer posted just one tweet, which didn’t make much sense and included a link. I didn’t click the link; it’s never wise to click a link posted by a spam account. (Think candy from stranger.) The link was likely either going to sell me something or attempt to install some malware on my computer.
I’m thrilled about this new Twitter feature. If used consistently by serious Twitter users and acted upon by the folks at Twitter headquarters, we should see a reduction in spam and perhaps a lot of discouraged spammers. Sadly with the proliferation of automated Twitter follow and spamming tools, it’s unlikely that the spam problem will ever completely go away.