Twitter: March 2009 Archives

Say hello to "owOHRJ" - or as she likes to call herself, "Lauren".

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Lauren is part of a very particular digital plague - those wonderful spammers on Twitter who just cant wait to tell you about their "Free laptop, LOL".

By a strange quirk of fate, I was there moments after her creation and I would be there to witness her somewhat unspectacular demise. Here is the account, roughly ten minutes after it entered our digital world:

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Already, Lauren is busy following 149 people, and has picked up a solitary follower. Let's skip forward to her teenage years - roughly 20 minutes after being created:

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My, Lauren has been busy! She's pulled in a few more followers, but the amount of people she's going to follow is about to explode as she races headlong into middle age, some 35 minutes after the account went live:

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She's now bumped her followers to 20, and is chasing 812 people around Twitter. No doubt they've all been told about her free laptop, LOL. However, a bit of old age seems to be creeping in. We all have to slowdown sometime I guess, which would explain why...

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....she's still in the 800 range with roughly 45 minutes used in the name of spamming. Unfortunately for Lauren, the knees are going, the eyesight isn't what it was and then...

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....the Great Banhammer From the Sky rains down upon her head.

However, with forty odd minutes on the clock and 800+ people now thoroughly sick of the word "laptop" I think our spamming friend has earned a trip to the next life.

With any luck, it'll be the one with all the brimstone and pitchforks...
You might not have heard of this "marketing tool", but Twitter Blaster is helping to generate a fair few messages that have a distinctive spammy look about them.

Here's an example of a marketing scheme cooked up with the aid of said tool.

First, the hook:

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Over $5,000 of free stuff just for sending out a message on Twitter? Sign me up!

Hit the "Click Here" link, and you're taken to this:

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As you can see, you're asked to enter your Twitter login details and the message you'll send is displayed in the "Message" box. This particular promotion seems to change the message every few days. There's also a pre-ticked box to follow the person who set the campaign up on Twitter.

This is smart for a number of reasons. Firstly, the campaign owner can see at a glance a good idea of how many Twitter users have sent out his message. Secondly, he can then send those people messages about other promotions at a later date. I'm willing to bet the people who submit their details to these kinds of things are unlikely to untick the checkbox. Also:

"We promise that your details are NOT stored anywhere on our servers".


There is, of course, no way to know that for certain with any of these websites. Moving on, once you hit the "Download Now" button you're taken to a page full of offers and freebies (to be fair, the example given above seems to link to genuine offers, if a little drawn out and stuffed full of link clicking and hoop jumping) and your profile sends out something like this:

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Can't say I'd be hugely impressed if a contact sent me a message like that on Twitter. Are some (potentially useless) freebies worth losing a pile of followers?

Probably not. We'll likely take a look at Twitter Blaster itself in a future writeup...
Over the past few days, if you were to take a sample of Twitter messages, you'd see a lot of increasingly annoyed people mixed in with inane laptop spam:

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The site at the heart of this:

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...is a fairly typical "get a free laptop / phone / whatever" URL, and given the incredibly spammy nature of its promotion it seems fair game to advise avoiding it completely. Check out the fresh wave of spam messages from multiple accounts popping up on Twitter even as I'm typing out this blog entry:

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If you're wondering, the spam accounts all pretty much look like this:

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It's a little depressing that the spam profile above already has 148 people following it. Someone at Twitter needs to try and get a grip on this one before every other message sent out is FREE LAPTOP, LOL.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Twitter category from March 2009.

Twitter: November 2008 is the previous archive.

Twitter: April 2009 is the next archive.

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