How to Stop Spammers on Twitter

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Twitter can be fun, but keep spammers off your timeline.
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Twitter is a social media site that provides an enjoyable way to meet and interact with interesting people, keep track of friends, watch celebrities whose activities and observations interest you, get special offers from businesses and more. You can follow just about anyone who has a Twitter account (except people whose tweets are private) and just about anyone can follow you. That's both good news and bad news, because some people acquire Twitter accounts specifically to lure people to adult websites, publicize dubious get-rich-quick schemes and otherwise make themselves obnoxious. You can stop these people from following you and alert Twitter to spammers and scammers while you do so.


Step 1

Read the email message you receive from Twitter each time someone new joins your list of followers. Look at the person's ratio of followers to people followed. If a user is following a long list of people but no one's following back, chances are your new follower is a spammer.

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Step 2

Check any suspect user's tweets. Do they all include links, especially all to the same website? Is the person's avatar sexually explicit? Does the user post the same tweet repeatedly? All these behaviors are among those that violate Twitter's terms of service.

Step 3

Take action to get rid of a spammer. Click the Followers link on your Twitter home page. Find the spammer's user name in the list and click the icon to the right of it that looks like a gear. From the list of action options that comes up, select "Report @[user name] for spam." This alerts Twitter to the suspect account and blocks the user from your list of followers.


Step 4

Monitor your followers periodically to make sure an unwanted pest doesn't sneak in while you're not looking. If you find followers whose actions or intentions you mistrust, take steps to get them off your timeline.


Step 5

Help Twitter help you by practicing safe tweeting. Use a different password for your Twitter account than for other online accounts and venues. Remember that Twitter won't email you to ask you for your password, and don't respond to any email messages that suggest otherwise. Above all, if you see tweets you didn't write or Twitter direct messages you didn't send showing up in your timeline, change your password and consult Twitter Help for other steps to take.


Step 6

Enjoy your Twitter account—but always remember to treat identity security seriously. If you see something on Twitter that wouldn't pass the smell test on another online venue, take action to protect yourself and help protect others from unscrupulous people who want to spoil the fun.




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