Twitter to end fast following

One of the main problems emerging with Twitter, is the growth of ‘Internet/Social Media/Marketing/SEO Gurus’ who promise to help you attract another xxx thousand followers in ‘just a few days’. Now, Doug Williams from Twitter has announced a crackdown on the ‘get rich quick’ type Twitter scams where third party software is used to add lots of followers in a short space of time.

This sort of practice does risk suspension (has it happened yet?) and is something that I think needs to be swiftly culled from Twitter. As of a Read Write Web poll this morning, 85% of 770 voters think that auto-following should be banned, and I totally agree.

Twitter is about building relationships, not racing to hit one million, or two million, followers. How many of the followers Ashton has acquired, does he actually interactwith? Very few. It is essentially a platform for him to self-gratify and self-promote.

Twitter is used by different people in different ways and that will not change – but if we al auto-followed 25,000 people, imagine a) the noise and b) the amount of times Twitter would break because it couldn’t cope with the amount of data all of a sudden being shared.

Twitter has also said that they intend to censor trending topics to prevent spammers from hi-jacking them and to ensure any crude language doesn’t get through. This again has to be welcomed.

The issue that of course may arise from this is that increasing interference in the way that Twitter operates removes the organic nature of the platform and this takes away it’s transparency and this is what makes it such a wonderful medium.

We should be embracing Twitter as a platform to connect with a few, listen to many and share with all, not as a popularity arms race that threatens to spiral out of control as users become self-interested in having the most digits on their follower/following counter.

7 thoughts on “Twitter to end fast following

  1. Pingback: XkiD | Twitter to end fast following | blog.xkid.ro

  2. Well done. I’d love to see them block spam in trending topics. Of course, that’s relatively clear cut a task if the spammer is promoting a biz site.

    But what about the spammers who seek to promote their own agendas (esp. partisan and political ones) by abusing the trending topic hashtag? I’ve seen that happen a few times with the #iranelection tag this weekend, and it makes my blood boil.

    Yet the fact that kind of spam is out there–and arguably as deserving of blockage as the “a thousand followers in 30 days” crowd–brings us back around to the thorny issue of censorship in a medium known for being fairly free-wheeling.

  3. @Poprice I completely agree, it’s this use of Twitter by that sort of person which we need to try and work out a way of preventing from happening and the last thing we want to do is to try and censor Twitter as it is, as you so rightly say, a free wheeling platform!

    @ Stop Dreaming Thank you for coming by!

    @Jonas Nice post – it’s an issue that I think must be nipped in the bud by the Twitter guys so we can make the most from the platform, especially with the likes of needfollowers doing their nefarious thing!

    Thanks yo for coming and leaving a comment guys, it’s really appreciated and very much valued! :-)

  4. Thanks for a great post, Matt.
    It seems no sooner do we find a way to communicate than it gets hijacked by spammers. The whole attraction of the internet for me was that it opened up connection to the world (well, the bits of it that were wired, anyway) but it saddens me to see so many fantastic innovations turned into avenues to force things to my attention that I never wanted to see.
    It would be nice to see the moral police crack down on this kind of stuff and reclaim the web, and web technologies, for meaningful purposes. I’m afraid, though, that while our own fear, ignorance and greed keeps feeding them, they’ll stay around and we’ll all be pushed offline for meaningful contact with each other.
    Three cheers for Twitter at least attempting to clamp down on it. I’d rather be censored occasionally than drowned in spam noise. As for losing its organic nature – well, even nature evolves every now and then, and I’m pretty sure that we as users can evolve to adapt to new forms of it.
    Is that too optimistic of me?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s