Spamming Twitter Is Now Easier Than Ever

tweetlogoFor the low, low price of $150, you too can Spam Twitter to your heart’s content. A new software tool called Tweet Tornado allows its users to create an unlimited number of Twitter accounts, and do a host of other micro-blogging niceties. As I personally discovered a few days back, one problem Twitter has is its vulnerability to Spam of all sorts.

This latest news via Yahoo!, amplifies what may become a huge problem for Twitter in the weeks and months to come. Tweet Tornado, or programs like Magpie (explained by SitePoint’s Mihaela Lica), can actually render the whole platform useless in a worse case.

How to video showing form fill

How to video showing form fill

Twitter Ain’t In Kansas

Dancho Danchev of ZDNet reported on the release of the tool earlier. Danchev, an independent security consultant, suggested that Twitter simply start requiring a valid email address for signup, which seems like the most logical solution. Tweet Tornado takes advantage of this loop hole, and allows its users to create virtually unlimited fictitious accounts, and with the potential for unlimited followers for each. The resultant messages or Tweets represent something of a geometric progression of Spam obviously.

Tweet Tornado’s proof of concept profile, uncovered by Danhev, has already been deactivated, but as you can see in the screen from the TT site, the fictitious owner as an obvious following. Other TT site screens illustrate just how brazen the developers are, and how easily their tool can proliferate Twitter. From comparing themselves to Adwords to showing actual bandwidth increases, Tweet Tornado makes no bones about what they are doing. If Spammers have their way, Twitter users may soon be clicking their heels and chanting; “There’s no place like jaiku.”

The proof profile on Tweet Tornado

The proof profile on Tweet Tornado

Conclusion

Blatant disregard for users, community and even a site’s TOS seem to be almost accepted behavior now. How can social networks survive under these and other stresses? Many will not if the user experience goes down significantly. Twitter is an interesting case study in not only what people want, but perhaps as a vehicle for a new type of marketing.

One thing is for certain, bogging the little bird down with junk salesmanship will eventually alienate even the most devout users. My bet is that Twitter is just biding their time, allowing a degree of this nonsense, until they close the flood gates and put a price tag on their millions of users. I hope this is the case for everyone who enjoys their service.

Authors Note: I purposely did not include a link to the Tweet Tornado site. For those of you who need to see for yourselves, or for shameless marketeers, it is not hard to find with a simple Google search.

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  • Kevin

    Sometimes I truly hate computers, or at least the stupid people on them.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Hi Kevin,
      Well, after about 60,000 hours on one of the things myself, I cannot say i have not been with you a time or two. Sometimes I long for a breath of fresh air in the digital world. :) Thanks for commenting.

      Always,
      Phil

  • http://www.dotcomwebdev.com chris ward

    slap a captcha on the sign-up, or have users verify their email address before they can have followers or tweet

    problem solved

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Exactly Chris, I don’t see the problem either, but something stops them?

      Always,
      Phil

  • http://www.patricksamphire.com/ PatrickSamphire

    I have to say that I’m starting to get fed up with twitter for this very reason. Too many spam followers. I really don’t want to protect my posts, but at this rate I’ll either have to do that or give up on twitter.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Patrick,

      I understand completely. This is one of the reasons I actually seldom use it. I know this is crazy from a writer’s and a consultants standpoint, let alone from a networker’s, but the value is diminishing already. It is fairly easy to see. Thanks for your opinion too.

      Always,
      Phil Butler

  • stinhambo

    Erm, doesn’t Twitter require you to follow someone to receive their tweets?

    Ergo, don’t follow them and you won’t get spammed.

    Please correct if I have misunderstood the fundamental concept of Twitter.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Yes you are correct Stin. But as you can see by the profile the tested with, they have their ways in which to engage followers.

      Always,
      Phil

  • mikefarrow

    Well that sort of profile does not engage me. If someone with 2,000 following, 20 followers and one post that offers to help me get rich quick, it goes in the bin regardless of how big the breasts are.

    If it gets too much to do do manually there will be a tool to do it for me. People who spam communities are just wasting their time and money and the people that help them will find themselves blacklisted too

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Good points Mike. And a big LOL on the get rich thing. I am sure that ad people are going to have to get a lot more creative on the Web. funny, somehow I thought that was part of the whole Web 2.0 thing? I think we were wrong my friend.

      Always,
      Phil