How To: 5 Top Methods & Applications to Reduce Twitter Spam!

How much of Twitter’s trending topics are polluted by spam? How many Twitter verified accounts are there? Have you ever thought of reaching Twitter utopia: a spam-free Twitter where information and knowledge sharing are the main purposes for using Twitter? Is Twitter doing enough to protect us from spam? Would you like to find all the top 5 solutions to cutting down on Twitter spam in one place?

No Spam!

No Spam!

Thoughtpick is here to save the day!

While reading the post about Twitter closing down thousands of spam accounts, I found that it would be interesting and very beneficial if I researched the web to present you with the top 5 methods and applications which could help Twitter users cut down on incoming spam and better enjoy their overall Twitter experience.

  1. Manual Selection: This method might be fun at the beginning yet could become a bit overwhelming especially to those following thousands of tweeps. Basically, this method entails that you monitor the activity, profile, links and tweets of those you are following and manually unfollow and block those who seem to be spammers rather than true tweeps. Things you should be well aware of when manually following and unfollowing tweeps:
    • Be ware of suspicious-looking shortened URLS; these could be links to viruses, pornography, trojans or spam. For example, if you see the same URL with 10 different descriptions!
    • Be careful of trending topics; spammers use those with a combination of hashtags so they would show up more often on Twitter search,
    • Be ware of fake followers; followers who will not RT you or provide you with valuable information, instead, they use their Twitter account to send our promotions to sell their services.
    • Know who you follow before you follow them and unfollow and block anyone who seems to be a spammer immediately.
  2. Tweepi.com: A new application, still in beta, for Twitter users which allows you to cleanup spam users using numbers that are able to reveal bots through various ratios such as number of tweets vs. number of RTs and the number of links per tweets. So if you’re following a few thousand people on Twitter and you noticed that many of them do not engage in conversations, never retweet anybody, or simply just ramble about nonsense stuff all day long (no links to useful content whatsoever!), Tweepi is your answer!

    Tweepi.com's Cleanup to find and unfollow Twitter spammers

    Tweepi.com's Cleanup to find and unfollow Twitter spammers

  3. Twerpscan.com: TwerpScan will check the number of followers of all your contacts, the number of people they are following, and then compute the ratio between those. You can easily sort the list of your contacts; display them in variable batches of 20 to 100 people; and you can follow, unfollow and/or block each contact right there on the spot— without going insane.
  4. Clean Tweets: A browser-based filter plugin that removes spam from Twitter Search. Clean Tweets is an extension for Firefox that goes through your Twitter searches, either from Twitter.com or Search.Twitter.com, and erases a majority of the spam-based ones by essentially using only two filtering rules: 1) Delete all tweets from accounts that are less than 24 hours old 2) Delete all tweets that mention three or more Twitter trending topics.

    Clean Tweets Firefox Extension

    Clean Tweets Firefox Extension

  5. TidyTweet: A real-time tool especially tailored for blog/website owners and which allows companies to syndicate Twitter content on their website or blog free from inappropriate language, users, and content. TidyTweet, which is currently in private beta, is designed around creating and managing feeds with additional customization options.

Finally, I’ll leave you with the following questions: Do you think a time will come where Twitter would be absolutely spam-free? And do you know of any other spam-cutting applications that we might have missed?

Your feedback is always appreciated. Enjoy your Twitter experience as spam-free as possible :)

Comments and Reactions

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com Amer Kawar

    I do the manual selection as much as I can, but once you pass the 1k following point, it becomes difficult. That was one of the main reasons of building http://tweepi.com/ – and that's what I use – but I'm a bit biased ;)

    I think Twitter needs to create a built-in spam detection system – it's not that difficult. They can do:
    - if a user tweets the same expanded URL more than 50 times – auto-block him, or put the account on hold/to-be-reviewed.
    - make the 'report spam' button bigger and more obvious, maybe even enforce it via the API and apps like TweetDeck.
    - Allow reporting users and messages as spam

    My two cents! Great post and advice, Beirut.

  • http://www.mpaladino.com Michael Paladino

    Good article and thanks for including http://tidytweet.com. As far as whether or not Twitter will ever be absolutely spam-free….I don't think so. What is spam to one person may not be spam to another, so I can't see Twitter ever being able to completely eradicate it. I do think they should make more efforts to eliminate the extremely obvious cases, but I think there will always be room for third-party apps that give the user more control of what sort of filters to put into place.

  • http://carlo.zottmann.org Carlo Zottmann

    Thanks for putting http://TwerpScan.com in your top 5. Glad you like it. :)

  • http://blog.guruofnew.com/social-media/how-many-followers-did-you-lose-in-twitters-great-spam-purge/. How Many Followers Did You Lose in Twitter’s Great Spam Purge? : Guru of New

    [...] from savvy blogger Thoughtpick comes a very useful list of The Top 5 Methods & Apps to Reduce Twitter Spam. Want to share? Click [...]

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    You're welcome :) It's a really good app! You should give tweepi.com's cleanup tool a try and give us your feedback :)

  • http://www.unmemorabletitle.co.uk/ ADNattan (@Mr603)

    The manual selection route carries a few risks of it's own. The quickest way to do it is to set your tweets to protected, then delete and block the spammers. However, do this a few times and you bring yourself to the attention of Twitter's spam team. I was suspended for a few hours for just such “suspicious activity”.

    Thanks for this post anyway, I think I'll check Tweepi out.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/2009/08/twitter-for-enterprise-debate-would-you-use-it-for-your-own-business.html Twitter for Enterprise Debate: Would You Use It For Your Own Business? | Thoughtpick Blog

    [...] Spam Limitations: This could be tricky: Let’s say you own a business in manufacturing and promoting kid products. You add followers haphazardly to increase your exposure. While visiting your profile, we find “Sexyhotchick’s” or “adultfinder’s” tweet on your home page. Not very professional, is it now? [...]

  • dave1960uk

    I really can't see why Twitter doesn't have some form of report system, a “press here for spam” button similar to the one in Yahoo Answers.

    It's frustrating to both be followed by spammers and keep seeing spammer, sorry, viral advertising, posts.

    I am 100% with you on this.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/2009/08/is-truetwit-up-to-the-task-of-reducing-twitter-spam-i-dont-think-so.html Is TrueTwit up to the Task of Reducing Twitter Spam? I don’t think so! | Thoughtpick Blog

    [...] are many tools attempting to solve this issue, but recently, I ran into and tested out TrueTwit.com, and I was not too impressed by the logic [...]

  • http://twitter.com/Krud Krud

    “many of them… simply just ramble about nonsense stuff all day long (no links to useful content whatsoever!)”

    Well, phooey. I just learned I'm a spammer. Not just on Twitter, but in daily life! No wonder people physically block me… o_O

  • http://www.briankenyon.com/ kenyob

    I didn't see http://thetwitcleaner.com/ which should be the 6th on the list. Its an amazing twitter service that will help clear out all the spammy / deadwood tweeps you are following or are following you.

  • http://security-wire.com/08/how-to-remove-security-suite-rogue-anti-spyware.html Remove Security Suite Virus

    This will be great if it will work. Thanks for sharing it.

  • http://security-wire.com/09/how-to-remove-antispy-safeguard-rogue-anti-spyware.html Remove Antispy Safeguard Virus

    Thanks for your sharing! Tweitter spammers are really disgusting!

  • http://twitter.com/TwitAnders Twitty Anders

    Clean Tweets is not working and TidyTweet not for free. The number of search operators is also limited. So I have written this Bookmarklet to remove the users in search.twitter.com, who you don’t want to have in your results.Write the names of users, you want to get filtered out, in lower case seperated by comma in the field, where you find now username1 and username2.
    Maybe someone with better skills than me can write a browser extension, which would be more comfortable. :)
    This is the code for the bookmarklet:
    javascript:{var blist = ‘username1, username2′;var banned = blist.split(‘, ‘);var i;var j = document.getElementsByTagName(‘a’).length;
    function removeBanned(nr){var element=document.getElementsByTagName(‘a’)[nr];var x;var klein;
    klein=element.text.toLowerCase();for (x= 0;x<banned.length;x++){if(klein==banned[x]){element.parentNode.parentNode.parentNode.removeChild(element.parentNode.parentNode);i–;j–;}}}
    for (i = 0;i < j;i++){if(document.getElementsByTagName('a')[i].className=='username'){removeBanned(i);}}}

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