TrueTwit helps you figure out who are the spammers and who are the real people
Lately I’ve come across this Twitter App service called TrueTwit. This is a service that is meant to identify who are the real people who are following you, and who are the spammers.
It works pretty simple:
1. Someone follows you
2. TrueTwit sends a DM with your account asking the new follower to go onto their site and fill out a captcha and prove s/he is human
3. TrueTwit shows you a list of people who are validated to be humans and so you can safely follow them back.
TrueTwit’s big flaw
So far so good. Neat concept, and definitely trying to solve a pain that is in the Twittersphere. Now the problem comes with this rule of TrueTwit:
If you are a signed-up user of TrueTwit, you automatically pass the test and will not be prompted to prove you are human if you follow another user.
From a conceptual level, this is smart, because TrueTwit will get a lot more signups since people want to avoid the hassle of doing captchas over and over again.
However, here’s the problem:
1. Most real humans only follow a few people a day. They might need to prove they are human once a month from TrueTwit, which is annoying but not worth the hassle of signing up for a brand new service
2. Come on, no one REALLY needs to follow you that much. If you make following you a big hassle, they just won’t follow you and complete the Captcha. Some people I talked to even said they were offended by this request
3. Many spammers like to follow hundreds of people at short intervals. They have a high chance of suddenly seeing dozens of TrueTwit requests, annoying them the hell out.
4. Spammers will take an extra step to sign up for service you because they want to spam you. They’ll do anything they can to grab your attention
5. As a result, all the spammers will take advantage of the exempt rule and sign up for TrueTwit. Now they can follow thousands of people and pass the real human test without trying
Most validated uses on TrueTwit will become spammers
What this means, is that if you sign up for TrueTwit, your list of “validated followers” would consist of a few people who REALLY want to follow you, and a swarm of spammers who signed up for the service just so they can avoid the Captcha test.
In that sense, you’ll be following MORE spammers than if you didn’t use the service, and you would lose all the real people who are mildly curious about you but does not feel the urge to fill out a captcha just for you.
TrueTwit, I like your intentions, and I want the spammer problem solved, but you aren’t doing it in a useful manner. I look forward to you coming up with another way to solve the problem and make the Twittersphere a better place.
Besides TrueTwit, anyone else recommend a Twitter App service that helps you get rid of spammers?
Would you like Yu-kai Chou to work with your Organization?
If you are interested in working with Yu-kai Chou for a business project, workshop, speech or presentation, or licensing deal, please fill out the form below.
9 thoughts on “TrueTwit defeats its own purpose by helping spammers”
Did anyone revise this concerning strategy?
Great article, Yu-kai. The TrueTwit validation has been annoying me and has put me off following some people. It makes sense that Spammers are just signing up for the service. It would be great if they could be stopped. They are just creating clutter on Twitter.
I agree. I wonder if they’re doing anything about it after so many complaints. Are they really passionate about stopping spammers? Or do they just want to find a way to make a quick buck?
Hey Anita! Thanks for the response!
Yea I’ve chatted with @Jesse Stay from SocialToo a few times and he’s a really cool guy. I remember SocialToo use to allow auto DMs, but then it became strongly against it as people used it to spam a lot.
Hope all is well and let me know if I can help you with anything!
Great post! The path of logic or pathologic (either/or lol) would follow that mostly spammers would remain using TrueTwit. My link goes to another article on the subject.
SocialToo.com by @Jesse Stay has a way to delete Auto DMs and flag them as spammers. It is the best solution I have seen yet – also, it’s free! YAY
Thanks Ian. I just checked it out and am trying to. Would be happy if it solved a pain.
A few days ago a new service launched StopTweet, I think it is worth a look.