Stop Social Microsharing With Strangers

As online sites like Twitter have garnered more users and gained in general popularity, people have (of course) tried to take advantage of this.  On an open system like Twitter, it’s easy.  So it is not surprising to see news reports about how cybercriminals are gaming Twitter to spam misleading links to sites about porn, drugs, and other enterprises.

But if you clicked on one of these links and feel somehow betrayed, it’s your fault. One hundred percent your fault. Do you know why? Because you are placing false trust in someone you don’t know. I guarantee that none of these links originated with someone you know well. You were following a Twitter account run by someone you don’t know and/or don’t trust, and they jerked you around.

Are you suprised?  This behavior is like trusting random people you meet on the streets of New York to hold your wallet and expecting to get it back 15 minutes later, except worse, because they can hide behind the Internet and you don’t even know where they’re located.

For now, anyway, Twitter doesn’t really verify accounts.  Sure, a few celebrities are “verified” (and some aren’t), but for the most part no one’s checking who owns what account.  This is very different from Facebook and LinkedIn, where people generally have to go through a bit of work to set up an account and generally have to associate with email domains, companies, and formal networks to effectively verify who they are.  Microblogging isn’t like that. It’s more like a chat room on steroids. It’s the wild west of Internet authenticity.

Don’t count on Twitter to help you. It’s in their best interest to gain as many accounts as possible to make it look like their user base is skyrocketing, even if a quarter of the accounts are crap, a quarter are fakes/parodies/duplicates/placeholders/squatters, and another quarter have users who never return (what Nielsen has called “Twitter Quitters”). But don’t hate on Twitter, Inc. for this – building up lists of users who don’t do anything and buying server space for them is just their business model. Find some self-responsibility and don’t interact with the 75% of accounts that are utter shit.

So if you feel plagued by Twitter spam, you need to get some self control. Stop talking with everyone just because they’re there. Stop following 6,829 accounts you’re unfamiliar with. Stop following everyone who follows you in the name of reciprocation and politeness. Stop enabling spam on Twitter. It’s your fault it’s there.

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • email
  • LinkedIn
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • Slashdot

This post was written by:

Mark Drapeau - who has written 225 posts on Dr. Mark D. Drapeau.


Contact the author

2 Comments For This Post

  1. Noel Bligh Says:

    I totally agree will RT this article.

  2. derekpm Says:

    Rather interesting. Has few times re-read for this purpose to remember. Thanks for interesting article. Waiting for trackback

2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Twitted by SocialBttrfly Says:

    [...] This post was Twitted by SocialBttrfly [...]

  2. Iran: 06 luglio 2009, aggiornamenti dalla rivolta verde Says:

    [...] to address nation – CNN – Why We Protest – IRANMelody Moezzi: Iran’s Underground RailroadStop Social Microsharing With Strangers | Cheeky Freshپيک نت peiknetYouTube – Joan Baez – We shall overcomeYouTube – 18 TIR The Attack on the Iranian [...]

  • Popular
  • Latest
  • Comments
  • Tags
  • Subscribe

Search this website

Post Archive