In an effort to combat the increasing number of spam tweets on its platform, Twitter has announced its newest spam-fighting weapon: the law.
The microblogging site is not just going after individuals who send annoying or potentially malicious messages known as spam, it is targeting the “bad actors” who create tools and programs used to distribute spam on Twitter.
“This morning, we filed suit in federal court in San Francisco against five of the most aggressive tool providers and spammers,” said Twitter in an April 5 post on its blog. “With this suit, we’re going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter.”
It’s good news for consumers, especially those who have a penchant for clicking on links within tweets that promise the latest Justin Bieber song download, free iPads or sexy pictures of women.
Twitter is taking additional steps to fight "@mention" spam and malicious links hidden with link shorteners. It also encourages its users to report and block spammers by following the steps listed in its help center.
Both Twitter and Facebook have had to ramp up their spam-fighting efforts in the wake of a new breed of “social spam” that has been built to target unsuspecting users on social networks.
According to a recent article in The New York Times approximately 4% of all content shared on Facebook and 1.5% of all tweets were considered to be spam in 2010.