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Twitter’s Newest Problem: Hashtag Spam

Twitter hashtag spam

Twitter hashtag spam of #smcmke. Photo courtesy of @carrieatthill.

No one likes spam. Get rid of that filthy flim-flam.

No matter whether it’s email, social media or snail mail, you can hear someone’s eyes roll when they encounter the nasty trash.

Social media sites have been battling it for a while. Twitter has had an up-and-down relationship keeping spam accounts at bay.

A growing problem

But the trend on Twitter has been for spammers to target hashtags. And during this past week, I saw that firsthand quite a few times.

It’s time for Twitter to make this priority No. 1.

Why it’s top priority

Users can block and report spam accounts, but it’s disruptive when hashtags are targeted.

Normally, users are having conversations or chats on those hashtags, so spammers block the flow of those conversations. And the time it would take to block and report all those spam accounts while in the middle of a chat? No thanks.

Room for complaints?

One argument I’ve seen often is that Twitter, like other social media sites, is free, so we shouldn’t have to worry about complaining. Remember: It’s free.

To a point, I agree. But the amount of spam that I saw in hashtags in the past week speak against that point.

Some complaints need to be aired.

Do you think hashtag spam is Twitter’s top problem right now?

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  1. August 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Yep. IT drives me crazy. (Although I think this week, at least, the crackdown on 3rd party developers and the API is taking precedence.)

    • August 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Yes, for sure. I think Twitter has its hands full with that, but make this a priority, too, please.

  2. August 20, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Any sort of spam always drive me bonkers. I haven’t seen it as much in the Twitter hash tags, but just on Twitter in general. I guess spammers are wising up.. lol

  3. August 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    The worst part is that is was OUR stream yikes!

  4. August 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Initially, I would only see one or two one-offs that @messaged me directly, those I could block & mark as spam without too much drama. The issue for me is when it invades the chats, I will drop off when the spammers come in – that makes me lose whatever benefit I was going to the chat for in the 1st place. I do block/report them in stream, but it is like trying to put out a fire by spitting on it.

  5. August 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Something they definitely need to work on! I haven’t seen too much of it in my streams but I don’t get involved in chats very often. How annoying!

  6. August 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I haven’t seen much of it either, but I’m very new to this world. It’s true though…anywhere you see “spam” it’s simply annoying! As if it’s effective in any way!

  7. August 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Yes I am with Carrie, you drop this ^&*( in my chat and my community descends on you and we will block and spam you off twitter.

  8. February 26, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    What I don’t understand is what anyone has to gain from the hash tag spam. What I’m seeing in the last week or so is numerous folks tweeting exactly the same thing to a hash tag, which is the same method used for blog spam comments. I understand some of the spam comments stick on blogs whose users haven’t enabled comment moderation. But what does it get anyone to do that to a hashtag?

    • February 26, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Ruth: I think a lot of them do it to entice people to click on their profiles or links in the tweets, which probably are running password scams. That way those hashtag spammers can get control of accounts and perhaps make money from them that way.

  1. September 19, 2012 at 9:00 am

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