How to recognize #spam on Twitter and what to do about it

Below are some examples of Spam Direct Messages (DM) on Twitter. Putting these into a presentation for a workshop but thought I’d share here.

There are lots of variations but if you receive a message that looks anything like any of these, do not click the link. Clicking the link will send the same DM to all your followers. I don’t know if it does anything more malicious than this but this alone is enough to unsettle people and undermine confidence in online security.

Spam messages on Twitter are often easy to identify because they appear unusual in tone and subject for the @user it comes from. There’s no need to unfollow the @user, just politely reply point out that you’ve received spam from them and encourage them not to click any links they’re not sure of. When someone shares a link with you via Twitter, it’s because they think it’s worth reading for you particularly. They won’t mind if you reply and ask them to confirm the message and link is genuine.

Don’t trust unmarked links. When you share a link, say what it is and why it’s worth clicking.

If someone points out that they’ve received spam from you, don’t panic. Just do a quick tweet warning your followers that if they recieve an unusual message from you it’s likely to be spam and that they should just delete it.

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4 comments

  1. Susannah Adamson

    Thanks James, this is exactly what happened to me! And it does make you feel weird. Am much more vigilant now! Sue A

  2. Paul Taylor

    Great post – pretty much essential in current climate. It’s easy to think “everyone will get that its spam” – but people don’t. We all have a duty to play our part and stamp this out.

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