Spam is all over the Internet and even more so on social media sites. It is easy for someone to create a fake account and send spam messages to users. Twitter has encountered problems with companies that automate postings to people and follow people on the site. Twitter has taken action by filing a lawsuit against five companies which it claims are the biggest offenders in spamming. Twitter is arguing these five companies are filling Twitter with fake profiles and unwanted @ messages. Twitter’s main objective in bringing this suit is to act as a deterrent to other spammers by showing their commitment to keeping them off Twitter.
Twitter has also developed algorithmic solutions that scan tweets and helps to spot signs that show the tweets are spam. Also, they have acquired the security firm Dasient, a company that leads in the prevention of malvertising, which is online advertising that spreads malicious software.
Twitter is not the only website to file suit against spammers. In 2009, Craigslist filed suit in federal court against spammers and won an injunction and $200,000. Facebook, has also encountered issues with spam and this past year filed two lawsuits against the co-owners of Adscend Media, LLC, which is a network that is alleged to develop and encourage others to spread spam through misleading and deceptive tactics. One of these deceptive practices is known as “clickjacking”, which tricks the user into clicking on something different than what the user thinks they are clicking on, thus revealing confidential information or taking control of their computer.
Clearly the fight against spam is heating up and it won’t be surprising to see more social media websites bringing lawsuits or taking other actions against spammers.