Twitter spam is a bit of an oxymoron, since it’s just not possible.
Spam being unsolicited communication, there is no situation on twitter where this can occur.
The twitter service is designed so that people can follow you without you needing to follow them. Before anybody is able to send you any messages directly (@ messages are simply references to somebody whereas direct messages are the only form of direct communication) you need to follow them, thereby soliciting further communications.
Funnily enough, the only time when you directly request an action from somebody, is when you try to follow somebody with a locked profile.
The follow-unfollow strategy, which I plan to explain in detail in a future post, is simply not spamming. It is annoying, it is destroying twitter, but it is completely acceptable legally and morally.
- By following you I don’t implicitly request a follow back, I am simply following you.
- By un-following you, I simply am no longer interested in what you have to say.
- By following me in return, you are SOLICITING my communications.
And this is why twitter, as it stands and matures, is a failing model.
Trawling twitter for traffic (lets call it twitter trawling, rather than twitter spamming) is highly profitable. It is also extremely simple. Anybody with a computer can trawl 2500 twitter users and ferry the haul to any website, every single day.
To sure up the twitter model against impending implosion, first up the maximum limits need to be decreased savagely. Allowing me to follow 1000 people every single day, is blatantly stupid. Allowing me to follow 2000 people, is blatantly stupid.
Bring a page rank model to twitter – allow peoples maximums to scale depending on their influence within twitter.
As it stands, the current twitter culture leaves twitter in a position where it is more vulnerable to “noise” than email was in the days before spam filters.