Home Affiliate Marketing Blog Top Social Media Consultancy hit by Twitter Porn Spam!

Top Social Media Consultancy hit by Twitter Porn Spam!

Top Social Media Consultancy hit by Twitter Porn Spam!

Even experts make mistakes. Today, when checking a top social media blog that I regularly follow, my attention was drawn to their ‘what people are saying about us on Twitter’ part of their homepage (see screenshot).

Twitter is a great way of communicating with your customers, as well as a great way of getting feedback from them. Unfortunately, as you can see below, some twitter-spammers have taken advantage of an honest attempt by this site to showcase their public feedback on their website.


Social media is an incredible source of user generated content, and widgets like this allow for real engagement between you, your website and your users, members or customers. However, allowing un-vetted content to be posted up on your homepage always has the potential to meet with disaster. To a large extent, the web is the Wild West, and if there are any opportunities that can be exploited, there will always be some soulless internet user who will be waiting to take advantage of them.

In the same way that webmasters have long moderated their blog comments, it is going to become increasingly necessary to regulate what’s being said about you on the social media platforms and applications that you can control. The hard part of course is that this kind of undermines the whole point of social media to begin with! You don’t want to stifle the conversation – and silencing criticism pretty much defeats the purpose of trying to engage with people over social media in the first place.

My suggestion? Monitor, monitor, monitor!

Social media is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week operation. It never stops, it never goes to sleep. This means you need to put in place monitoring practices that make you or someone in your organization aware of what’s being placed on your website as often as is practically possible. You don’t want to be checking your Twitter feed at 4am, but you also don’t want to go large stints of time without at least checking what’s being plastered up on your property.

  • Perhaps filtering direct twitter search result feeds against common “bad” words would be a good start.
  • Developing software to allow moderation of twitter search results as feeds – sort of like comment moderation might be an option.

To see these spammers take advantage of this opening at this website proves that it can indeed happen to anyone. The key is to learn from it and ensure that it doesn’t happen in your own business.

Have you had any experience of this happening to you? Would love to hear your stories!

Note: Upon finding this Twitter Spam, Affilorama immediately contacted the company behind this website.

35 Comments Add your comment
  • Reply carl • 3128 days ago

    If the big guys can't protect themselves, how can we :(

  • Reply Rod Dagan3128 days ago

    Hi
    I am just a part time player with twitter but as I have a dating site and a wedding site I get quite a few new followers with that? So I check who it is and half the time I am taken to a porn site and the other half shows there account suspended, so in a way that shows Twitter is trying to monitor it too

    I delete them immediately but I could see it would be an involved process on large sites

    This is not totally relevant to your post but I do find it disturbing that the human mind is devoid of ethics, empathy and morals. This goes both ways to the poster and viewer

  • Reply Raymond • 3127 days ago

    Unfortunately, this is one price to be paid for allowing user generated content (UGC). I would hope for a better way to control this, but I don't know of any way when comments can contain images.

  • Reply Bryon Wenrich3127 days ago

    I think the ability to monitor these just like comments would be the way to go. I would rather check and approve rather than have to remove unwanted tweets. Widget providers could add this functionality into the widget. Akismet type blocking could add additional protection.

  • Reply Randy Kemp • 3127 days ago

    Cool headline! It goes great with picture of canned Spam.

  • Reply search engine placement • 3127 days ago

    You are so right. I had one person write one bad thing about me and it really hurt.

  • Reply Rob • 3127 days ago

    A good question here is: how does one monitor all of this social media activity? Twitter is just social media platform among many. I know there are services (paid) that work at monitoring exactly this sort of thing, I believe most of them refer to what they do as online reputation management.

    Thoughts?

  • Reply Bill James • 3127 days ago

    I went on Twitter because it was there, I guess, and because GoDaddy made it easy when I registered a domain. But so far everyone who folllws me (except family and a couple friends) wants to sell me something. Which is ok, I have learned to ignore the direct messages, and actually put a clickbank hoplink into a tweet. Who knows? Worst they can do is ignore me the way I ignore them, right?

    Be well

  • Reply KwameG • 3127 days ago

    They are just after the money. Most likely it is an indication of your success. I am sure at some point things will get better and worse. Perhaps you can post a disclaimer somewhere, most people will get it and start to Ban and marked these kind of post as Spam..

  • Reply patricia • 3127 days ago

    Thanks so much for the "heads up". I haven't as yet used twitter. I currently only have an online web store that I am marketing and I am, however, starting a blog in October for a niche I am interested in and will be using Twitter then. This is really invaluable info on the need to constantly monitor not only blog posts, but Twitter as well. Again..Thanks

  • Reply Marc-Philipp • 3127 days ago

    Funny. I dint know that. Thanks for sharing :-)

  • Reply rocketdocket3127 days ago

    While there's probably a third party Twitter tool that monitors and alerts you to Twitter spam about you and your brand, using the Twitter search box is the easiest way to monitor. Typing in your Twitter ID or product name will show all tweets mentioning you.

    Many who use Twitter are so concentrated on increasing the number of followers, they forget that more is not necessarily better. That's why I review every new member who wants to follow me. New followers who offer no useful content and are only selling products and services are quickly blocked.

    I wrote a blog post about Twitter best practices on IM-Mobile:

    http://im-mobile.com/2009/05/24/best-practices-marketing-on-twitter-to-engage-your-audience/

  • Reply Gary Speer • 3127 days ago

    I confess I'm one of the world's few marketing folks who canceled my Twitter account as a monumental waste of time. Despite many "gurus" who think it's got great potential, and despite all the people who claim to be making money via one Twitter scheme or another -- it's really not something for me.

    For those of you who DO continue working at Twitter as a money making tool -- good luck. But this post only serves to illustrate exactly what a major problem is. Whether it's specifically porn spam or not, most of what you get from people marketing on Twitter is junky, spammy time wasting.

    Why not instead do some serious keyword research on money-making topics and post keyword rich blog stuff, and try to make some bucks that way?

    Twitter? Nah. It really is just mostly for kids and spammers.

  • Reply Julie Cockburn3127 days ago

    Yep, unfortunately, you just have to monitor. One of my blogs - about simplified living of all things - gets over 4 spam comment posts to every legit one. Thanks for the warning - too bad it's necessary.

  • Reply Alex Newell3127 days ago

    posting unmoderated stuff from the public onto your home page is totally idiotic.

    Duh!

    I had a forum I had to delete years ago due to tons of "image porn". Yuck! Unless you have staff this is a total non starter.

  • Reply Marie Reynolds3127 days ago

    I have had over 80 porn comments on my blog within the last week. I was so shocked, and now have to check my site every day so that I can delete them. I don't know how to stop them. Has anyone some advice as to what I can do? Thanks, Marie

  • Reply Genesis Rocket • 3127 days ago

    Thanks for the heads up Mark!

    Very useful information as always.

    I use Twitter marketing a ton for my businesses and this is something that I will definitely pay more attention to.

    Thanks again!

  • Reply 3127 days ago

    I have two main twitter accounts that i use on a daily basis and it does all come down to what tools you use to monitor your @replies and RTs . I personally use SocialOomph.com (formerly tweet later) which alerts me when any text i have set-up shows up on the Twitter time line. As for sidebar widgets i make use of the Twitter tools plugin from alexking.org but I certainly wouldn't set-up a widget that pulls in outside material. I guess its a hard lesson learned.

    Its never a good idea to setup an automated follow back in my opinion because of the dangers of spammers, unless of course you setup a really tight filter. I always check out every follower before i follow back, after a while you get used to spotting the spammers who have scores of twitter accounts.

    There are sorts of privacy issues at the moment with social networks and your info is a lot more vulnerable than you think. In the end though it will take more effort from government regulators to stamp out abuse from spammers.

  • Reply Tom • 3127 days ago

    filtering direct twitter search result feeds against common “bad” words? Is there software that to allow moderation of twitter feeds?

  • Reply george githinji • 3127 days ago

    Thanks for reminding us that we need to be careful with our social media marketing.It is indeed tempting to put a tweet widget and expect that your users will leave generous comments or even better constructive criticism,but unscrupulous users will leave your page looking like a big advertisment for alll kinds of unsavoury things

    Great work,don't forget to monitor your social media work

  • Reply Martin Fretwell3127 days ago

    I used to get so much spam porn in my forum I had to close it and make it by invitation only. I found that so difficult to monitor and I cannot imagine how much more spam could be left via twitter.

    Interesting that even the experts get tripped up!

    Martin

    http://www.cat-deterrents.com

  • Reply Bulgebeater • 3127 days ago

    I believe this is a problem that the Social Media site owners have to take responsibility for. Sure all users have a responsibility for how they use their services especially UGC but if you put the real world parallel alongside you see a clearer picture.

    In other words when I go into the street store, the store is responsible for what captures my eye. When something is seen that's not suitable then laws of the land can hold them, the store, to account. In such a case both the store and the offenders can be charged. Since when should the customer be the one responsible? I am of course basing this on the premise that the "store" is advertising and being promoted as "family friendly" rather than "adult".

    We all need to take responsibility for our businesses, but when we are the consumer of a service provider, then that business should be held accountable for what it is providing. Rather like the porn mag or film maker is just as accountable as the girls within them.

  • Reply Honey Wesley • 3127 days ago

    And *that*, Mark, is reason #419 that I don't use Twitter. I know I'm in the minority, but I just don't get Twitter...at all. It seems to be a gi-normous time waster without any real purpose.

    Just my two cents.

  • Reply Tom Harvey • 3127 days ago

    I know that there is a fair bit of spam on twitter as everyone now seems to be selling something with the increase in paid tweet programs. However I was under the impression that Twitter did moonitor things itslef and its interesting to see the detrimental effects that some of the widgets can have due to a lack of control. Thanks for the warning and some good advice in the comments.

    Tom

  • Reply Phyllis Pianta • 3127 days ago

    Thank you for the update on Twitter, being rather new to all this social media I was encouraged to hear this can happen to anyone.I do check each followers Bio and there comments before following them, some helpful ideas from other comments too.Have had to block some they are just downright filth.
    Will be having a closer look at options to monitor this resource.
    Phyllis

  • Reply Val Flint • 3126 days ago

    I was interested in this post, Mark, because over the past few months I've had heaps of porn & drug SPAM comments on my Blog. And to make matters worse, for a time I couldn't get onto my Blog at all (probably due to my computer acting up - not sure). I kept deleting them, but then got sick & tired of that, so recently contacted my hosting company, Kiosk, who informed me that " you can use plug ins to block such comments on your blog. Do a google search and you will find many plugins to block spam comments".

    Haven't tried it yet, but definitely will soon... This may be of help to someone else.

  • Reply Saikat • 3125 days ago

    Mark,

    You have opened the eyes for many lazy webmasters. The lesson from this really is to check the websites frequently else be prepared for visitor rip off.

    Thanks again good one dear.

  • Reply renmark • 3124 days ago

    What is purpose of twitter again?

  • Reply Chris Goddard3124 days ago

    Check out our blog post here on how you can use Twitter as an affiliate marketer- http://www.affilorama.com/blog/the-web-is-a-twitter

  • Reply Evans Banahene3122 days ago

    I don't actually no why people will post search a thing on a site which is not limited to adult only. They are always seeking there interest without considering our future leaders.

    This practice must stop and owners of site must be alert and up and doing. They should put stronger measures to prevent future occurance

    Thanks for the infomation

  • Reply Anthony PA3120 days ago

    I support that the Tweeting shld be free and easy. But irresponsible people have kind of spoil this nice platform with their spamming. Instead of banning all, probably the way to go is still through moderation with approval.

  • Reply azizul rahman3099 days ago

    Thanks for the alert.

  • Reply Robert Galbraith3099 days ago

    This is my first night with Affilorama. I am also a real newbie to affiliate marketing and have had a site on Twitter ro a little over a week now. After reading the many comments, on spam, by other users I am really second guessing about keeping that account. In the time I have had that site I am following 818 other people, and have 337 followers. Out of all of those followers I have only had 27 click on my bit.ly link and have not made one sale.
    I am really thinking about cancelling the program right along with the program that helped me set up the whole thing.
    Thank you everyone for letting me spout off. I am going to put my time to better use and find out how to follow Affilorama and start over.

    MrRobert

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  • Reply Kathy Adams • 2741 days ago

    Good grief!!! This makes me wonder if using Twitter (or any other social media) is even worth it. As if there isn't enough to "filter" already. This is so frustrating for those of us who are trying to run a business as professionally as humanly possible. As "chief cook and bottle washer", as they say, it is very time consuming and nearly impossible to monitor all of the unwanted spammers out there. However, I do certainly appreciate your bringing this to our attention, Mark.

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