Tag Archives: spam

A detailed explanation of the scoring mechanism used by TwitBlock.

Some people have complained that they get a high spam score and point out that they are not spammers. There are a number of important things to note about this.

  • This software is in alpha – these indicators and the scoring mechanisms attached to them will change.
  • As the system gathers data it will rely less on heuristics and more on cross-referencing (e.g. how many people have blocked an account)
  • Some of these tests are only indicators of automation, not specifically of malicious behaviour.
  • The spam rating has no limit – Scoring 40 may be high for a “legimate” account, but in a list with real spammers scoring 300+ you’ll be way down the bottom.
  • If you display characteristics of a spammer then perhaps this amounts to the same thing as being a spammer. Most normal users score zero.

Roughly in order of accuracy, here are the 8 tests currently performed in the standard TwitBlock scan.

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A bulk blocking and spam filter tool for Twitter


I’ve finally got round to building the Twitter app I’ve been thinking about for months. While everyone else is preoccupied with making fun, or cool apps, I’ve been thinking about the increasing problem of spam and junk followers on Twitter. I won’t go into why I think this is such a problem right now, plenty of time for that later.

This is just a quick announcement to say that I’ve released an early alpha version of a tool that I hope to develop into something genuinely useful. Currently it’s a simple scanner that analyses your followers for signs of “spammy” behaviour. I’ll post more details about these indicators soon, and I’ll also share some of the interesting discoveries I’ve been making about Twitter spam as I go on my mission.

UPDATE: I have posted about these indicators

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I do marvel at the ingenuity of spammers sometimes. Despite being crap programmers, they do have a knack for coming up with new ways to deliver their poisonous junk. It’s almost enough to make me consider life of crime.

After placing a job advert on Gumtree, we (my current employer and I) received a touching email from someone intersted in our junior developer role. Clicking their portfolio link took us to a spammer’s “search” portal complete with gambling site pop-ups.

I just became aware of an apparently legitimate US-based company who I shall not provide a link to;
[whois guard] [dot] [com] – operated by [name cheap] [dot] [com].

Their opening gambit “We hate spam like you do” is somewhat ironic when you consider that their services are of enormous help to cyber criminals such as phishing gangs. These ‘people’ need to operate domain names, but they must remain untraceable. Protecting their whois data is an obvious step towards concealing their identity. I am not suggesting that companies offering such services are corrupt, rather that it highlights the dichotomy of the internet privacy problem. Continue reading…