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Oh, the joys of getting old(er). I just received a sales call for an “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” system. Instead of being forthright, the caller was “just confirming delivery of the system.” When I tried to say I wasn’t interested, she talked over me, following her script.
I’m not sure what bothers me more: that some businesses consider deception and rudeness a viable business strategy, or that these business target seniors.
Please, read the Boulder Pledge1Yeah, I’ve written about the Boulder Pledge before. and consider expanding its application from spam email to junk mail and junk phone calls:
“Under no circumstances will I ever purchase anything offered to me as the result of an unsolicited e-mail message. Nor will I forward chain letters, petitions, mass mailings, or virus warnings to large numbers of others. This is my contribution to the survival of the online community.”
Under no circumstances will I ever purchase anything offered to me as the result of an unsolicited e-mail message. Nor will I forward chain letters, petitions, mass mailings, or virus warnings to large numbers of others. This is my contribution to the survival of the online community.
Spam is hitting Twitter. Correction: spam is hitting Twitter users.
Spammers know they get one chance to spam: Twitter sends an e-mail to each person that a spammer follows, inviting them to check out the spammer’s profile. The spammer’s profile likely has a single tweet containing a single spam link. Spammers set up multiple Twitter accounts and follow thousands.
There are available solutions to the problem:
Watch who’s getting blocked. I block all spammers who try to follow me and I’m not the only one. After an account has been blocked X times, Twitter should review it. I believe Twitter is already doing this.
Make it more difficult to follow someone (more clicks, captcha, solve a math problem, etc.) Make it so spammers can’t use bots. For that matter, use something like Asirra or myVidoop’s login procedure. Easy for a human to do, but takes a little human time, increasing the cost.
Allow users to autofilter or autoblock people. For example, I’d like to block without receiving notification anyone who is following more than 1,000 people and has less than 50 followers. Allow me to modify those numbers so spammers don’t have a known system to game.
Twitter should choose its anti-spam tactics carefully. Spammers’ responses could make future spam detection even more difficult. For example, limiting the number of follows or follows per day has no impact on the number of followers a spammer could do per day — it only limits the number of followers per account. (After all, nothing limits a spammer to having a single active Twitter account.) As a consequence, a spammer account would have fewer follows, making them harder to detect.
The past couple of days, I’ve been getting deluged with comment spam. Fortunately, WordPress prevents virtually all of it from showing up where anyone can see it but me. That’s still unacceptable. I’m getting ready to have my blog automatically trash any comment that mentions “poker” or a pain medication other than aspirin. You have been warned. ;-)
As a stopgap measure, I installed lr2Spam by Anton Olsen. After activating it, I successfully left a test comment (and then deleted it). We’ll see how it works for the rest of you…
If you have problems publishing a comment on my site, please contact me.