Twitter goes to court to fight spammers

2012-04-06 09:20

San Francisco – Twitter has filed a lawsuit in a US court against five websites that it accuses of creating tools for spamming, as the social media firm battles a wave of automated tweets barraging real users with anything from viagra adverts to virus-ridden links.

Often billed as a service to help a Twitter account gain followers, websites can take control of an account, known as a bot, that follows or sends automated tweets at real users in the hope that some will follow the bot back or click through links the bot has sent out.

“As our engineers continue to combat spammers with strong safeguards and technical efforts, today we’re adding another weapon to our arsenal: the law,” Twitter said in a blog post yesterday.

Twitter now claims 140 million active users. As its user base has grown, so have bots and spam, emerging as a problem that Twitter fears could dilute the online conversation and irk bonafide users.

Litigation isn’t a novel approach: both Facebook and Google have taken spammers to court in recent years with success.

The defendants listed in the suit filed in the US Federal Court in San Franciso are TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, TweetBuddy, James Lucero of justinlover.info and Garland E Harris of troption.com

The defendants could not immediately be reached for comment.

“We’ve focused on tool providers. They have willfully created tools that enable others to propagate spam on Twitter,” Twitter said.

“With this suit, we’re going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal.

“Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter.”
In its blog post, Twitter noted its recent acquisition of Dasient, a web security company that Twitter says represents a part of its “larger investment in security and fraud protection”.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.