Twitter, as with any site has a bit of a spammer infestation. Their “follow anyone” design makes it pretty easy for a steady stream of spammers to come in and message as many people as possible in short amounts of time.
Best practice to ensure you don’t get hit by the inevitable spammers? Only follow people you know, or profiles which are verified. That way you can be sure to avoid the sketchy links which are currently circulating users inbox’s.
Not every spammer may fall under one of these 5 tell-tale signs of a Twitter Spambot, but being able to identify a few to avoid can save you plenty of hassle in the future.
1. Profiles with Skewed Ratios.
Plenty of users automatically accept invitations from others without doing a little investigating first. If you know the person, then by all means follow them back, however if you don’t know them from a bar of soap well then dig a little deeper. First check their profiles, if the follower ratios are skewed (if they follow thousands, but no one follows them), they are almost certainly a profile to avoid.
Helpful Note: As plenty of users do already simply follow others without checking, you may still be spammed by someone who already has followers. So take a look at how they tweet, and what they tweet about.
2. Tweetless Accounts.
If you come across a profile with thousands of followers, who have a few hundred (auto-follow) followers of their own but haven’t posted a single tweet. Would you think this person to be an active (and not to mention real) twitter user? Not even maybe.
Sure you get users who only use Twitter as a means to follow news sources and celebrities, but then what good is it to follow them in the first place?
3. Female Avatar, Male Name.
As silly as this may be to point out, there is an unbelievably high percentage of spammers who, even though their display name may be Jason, will still go and put a pretty young blonde as their Avatar. Lets face it, sex sells so there is logic in what they are doing – they obviously assume users will only look at the profile pic instead of taking the time to at least view their name as well.
4. Utter Garbage.
One of the biggest giveaways I’ve come across is the constant misspelling of words in every tweet. Spelling mistakes here and there are obviously alright, I mean we only human after all, but more than that is definitely not a good sign. An even bigger sign is when the tweets make absolutely no sense at all, it’s simply a jumble of words (or even letters) followed by a link.
5. Egg Avatars.
Lady Gaga once changed her Twitter avatar back to the generic egg, but this was done purely as a publicity stunt. Now this was the exception to the rule, as the egg is usually either a sign of an inexperienced Twitter user, or a spammer. In this case you will need to investigate a little further and look for clues like ratio, tweet quality and spell check.
Snowball – Connecting Everything.