One of the most common things people say to me when I tell them about TwitBlock is along the lines of “I’m not bothered by spam on Twitter” – “I just ignore it” – “Why should I care if a spam account is following me?“.
It’s a totally understandable point of view, but my response is usually that there are certain entities that have no place in our online communities. Whether this invades your personal space or not, every opportunity should be taken to render it ineffective for the benefit of everyone.
If these junk accounts didn’t experience some level of success they probably wouldn’t bother, so somebody somewhere is falling for it. If you’re smart enough to know how to deal with spam and avoid the pitfalls, then perhaps you should use that knowledge for the benefit of others.
If you see a bikini clad model looking for ‘friends’ and it turns out she is trying to sell you counterfeit watches, ask yourself whether this ‘person’ has a place in your online community. You could ignore them, or you could report them with a single click.
Of course there are boundaries as to what we should consider harmful. A small business employing questionable tactics out of naivete or misguidedness is on the other end of the spectrum from a phishing attack designed to separate you from your credit card number. If you’re in any doubt as to what kind of things to look out for, Twitter’s own definition of spam is good start.
Below are the results of my twtpoll on the subject