The Twitter Spoofer

Apparently, a spammer is creating dozens of Twitter accounts, each one has one letter added to my profile name jowyang and is linking to a ‘get rich quick’ scam. I’ve received hundreds of messages from replies, direct messages, emails, and even a long distance phone call warning me. It’s likely a computer program, as it’s just adding one unique letter to my name, then following thousands and sending them direct messages. Many suggest that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I supposed I should be flattered. I’m not going to link to any of these accounts not to give them any attention, but I see this as an opportunity for Twitter.

How so? If there was a ‘report spam’ feature on Twitter the community (which already self-supports itself) could quickly notify the system when there’s an issue. This type of crowd sourcing already works for Akismet, wordpress’s spam system, and could easily be applied to Twitter.

Thank you all for watching out for my brand, I appreciate each and every message.

I sent a message to Ev and Biz, and I’m confident that Twitter will resolve this, I’m not concerned, but am thankful to all my followers.

On a related note, Twitter needs to keep the network clean, why? Brands are very interested in this community, I’ve been getting more and more requests from clients to discuss twitter, and whether or not they should engage and how. Just today, Forbes captured my thoughts on how I believe Twitter can monetize from corporate services, read why and how.

We’ve a report publishing soon, headed up by Zach Hofer-Shall, and edited by Josh Bernoff and myself, so if you’re a client, keep an eye out for it soon.

Update: Biz sent my emaill to the support team, and a few minutes later the offending accounts were suspended. Apparently, anyone can DM the @spam account to get this handled, I didn’t know that till now. This smells like a bot/computer program so we should expect more of these spammer accounts to appear to others, read Jacob’s account of the activity. Impressive how Twitter crew quickly cleaned this up –now that they just rounded up a cool $35mm, high quality service is certainly expected.