Take Note Of Twitter’s New Mention Spam Policy!

March 23, 2011 · 69 comments

in Twitter

Take Note Of Twitter’s New Mention Spam Policy!

twitter birdTwitter Cracks Down
On @Name Noise!
(which creates implications…)


Anyone that’s been on twitter more than a handful of days is pretty well familiar with the @Name spam that clogs up our mentions.

Looks something like this…

“Hey @name @name2 @name3 @name4 @name5 have you heard about XYZ “

I don’t think any of us disagree that that is bad form, bad taste and a complete waste.


Stuff That Looks Like Spam

However, what sometimes does come under disagreement is whether the multimention versions of #FollowFriday are similarly spam.

One awesome community I participate in, was including all of it’s members in some pre-configured mention tweets to help community members out. In theory anyone receiving this mention is already a member of the community so certainly isn’t being solicited.

These tweets tend to in a similar “form” however to the spammy links above and there is little doubt that due to their similarity they are easy to flag. Also because members would tend to fire off 10+ of them back to back, the behavior pattern itself was flagable as spammy.


Is It Or Isn’t It?

While the last thing we want to be doing is creating noise, the tweets sent between members of that community are essentially benign as they are not soliciting the tagged members.

We have however been asking twitter to please put a crack down on the @Name/@Mention spam and a letter received, along with a banned notice, by one of our members indicates that is finally becoming a reality!

This account was suspended for sending multiple unsolicited messages using the @reply and/or mention feature. These features are intended to make communication between people on Twitter easier. Twitter monitors the use of these features to make sure they are used as intended and not for abuse. Using either feature to post messages to a bunch of users is considered an abuse of its use, which results in account suspension.

Alrighty then!

Honestly, I was never a fan of them anyways as I feel they dilute the quality of the original intended goals for #FollowFriday, which should read more like:

“Have you checked out @Name yet? Connect with them for #FF for hot news and tips on X, and Y and a little Z, a real cool person!”

But What About….?

So now the question that obviously has to be asked is whether the spam flag was REALLY raised only by multiple @Names or if it was raised by @Names + .

We remain uncertain about whether the “default” style #FF tweets produced by the Follow Friday Helper app, which I actually really like using.

Tweets such as this format, lack a link…. and thus I don’t know where they fall in the new restrictions.

Also unique about the Follow Friday Helper is that it points out people that have actually already mentioned you… so there is a trail of sorts that indicates that someone else initiated the dialog which makes it different than either of the two existing cases.

Fortunately however, that is only the “default” tweet type that application produces and its “recommendation” format is actually MUCH higher caliber and is something that I truly recommend.  You can read more about it over here.

I do not see ANY reason to believe that correctly done “recommendation” format tweets, which look very similar to the one above that I indicated is “best practice”, will ever be penalized. Follow Friday Helper still makes even this type of tweet a lot faster.

While this example was not created by Follow Friday Helper, it could have been, and is a PERFECT example of a great recommendation mention (with or without the #FF tags) that is certain to make the recipient smile and your own followers take notice! (And if you haven’t met Melody yet you really should!)

Can you see the HUGE difference between the impact the prior three images are going to have… compared to this?

I also still sometimes use it with #Gratitude to tag multiple people (along with some words of thanks) that have shared my content… but I am careful to keep the volume of that per day low.


Summing It Up

So, I think with this improved spam filtering from twitter we are finally going to see a reduction in mention spam noise.

However, because may blog posts still exist encouraging the use of inclusion of multiple names PLUS links… that this becomes a booby-trap for new people to twitter who may mimic what they see being done.

Fortunately in the case of our community member, he was able to successfully appeal the ban and get reinstated and bring it to our attention!

How are you using the power of Recommendations and #FF tagging to help those you appreciate? What impact will this have on your tagging behavior? Do you feel this will help or hinder your ability to engage on twitter?

Play safe, play smart, make a REAL honest effort… and KEEP IT REAL!

Kimberly Castleberry


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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

John Paul March 23, 2011 at 8:36 am

Nice post Kim.. I’m glad I changed my #FF policy a few weeks back haha

The post I do is easier and I believe it works to connect people better.

I will say that the thing with Twitter that I like is they are open to working with people.. if you get closed in most cases if you explain yourself they let you back in.. many other sites dont do that..


Kimberly Castleberry March 24, 2011 at 4:24 am

I like the way you do your posts John. I’m not “exactly” convinced they have as much leverage “on twitter” as a well structured recommendation does but at the same time they have a longer persistence rate and a HUGE impact with your blogging based community. Because of your niche and your community I think you’ve found a really awesome way to avoid making additional twitter noise while still giving a good ole back scratching to those who deserve it. I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers shifting to something similar and thats because it definitely is a move in the right direction. Thanks for always leading the way!


John Paul March 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

Y ea I def have noticed a hit to my RTs and engagement from doing the post compared to doing #ff to 60 – 100 ppl a week. But def less noise and with the post it is a better way to share the people I think deserve the luv :)

So worth losing a few RTs. but gaining a few more relationships.


Andy Nathan March 25, 2011 at 9:53 am


I agree that those type of tweets were in bad form, and very annoying! When you have 54,000 followers on Twitter, you stop paying attention to them, because they come streaming into your @mentions way too much! This is a nice move by Twitter to cancel out the noise from my @mention stream!



John Paul Aguiar March 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

Andy.. I don’t care how many followers you have 54,000 or 154,000 you shouldn’t ignore your @mentions.,, since that is what is said to you specifically.

If you cant handle the @mentions you get them I would said dump your 54,000 followers and stuck to a number you can manage since the benis in Twitter are the relationships you make, not the number of followers you have :)


Andy Nathan March 25, 2011 at 10:21 am

I can handle the followers! It is the annoying tweets that I do not like. I am very active with my @mentions, I just ignore the type of spam tweets that Kim is referring to here in her post. There is no way I could run my twitter account without using the @mentions section. On my busiest days I still make sure to check it to keep up with my followers posts.


John Paul Aguiar March 25, 2011 at 10:29 am


Suresh Khanal March 23, 2011 at 8:44 am

So, does it mean follow friday mentions are going to be reduced? At least we need to change the format. Well it was Okey to penalize the multiple @mentions with a link but multiple mentions without links should go fine. Let’s see, but I will be more cautious now. Thanks Kim for the notice.


Kimberly Castleberry March 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Suresh, I believe we’re going to see a reduction in overall volume but an increase in overall caliber/quality. I’m all for that. I’d trade the dozen mass name FFs I get a week for two quality ones any week!

Do you actively track all of the multi name ones that your friends send and add ALL of those people?

I have one friend who is incredibly picky and will send out one multi name per week that she has carefully screened… and HERS I will follow all of those… but generally? No way, generally it just creates clutter and people Id have to sort through.

Yet, if I saw you tweet suggesting I follow @nameABC because he’s a awesome blogger, engager and tells good jokes… you better bet I’m clicking follow! The CTR there is so much higher for that individual promotion.

I think we get confused by quantity and also feel obligated to FF all of those people that look after us, every single week, when we actually have room to skip individual weeks, but really do the the best favor by truly putting our words behind them.
Kimberly Castleberry invites you to read…Buffer App For Twitter – A Must Have For SyndicationMy Profile


Jay Schires March 23, 2011 at 8:55 am

I would agree that there is too much spamming in twitter. I have been hit recently with spam about a new get rich quick scam which employees the above tatics. Glad to see them cleaning this up a bit.


Kimberly Castleberry March 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Hey Jay! (And where has your gravatar snuck off to??)
When I start getting hit by an identifiable scam, I take the searchable words, run them through twitters search, and report every single piece of junkmail I can get my hands on, to throw all of that into twitters spam system. I don’t really know that it helps but it makes me feel better and thats worth something right?
Kimberly Castleberry invites you to read…NoScript – Making The Web A Safer PlaceMy Profile


Ronald Redito March 23, 2011 at 8:59 am

Been seeing a lot of it in my timeline, I just do what I think it right. I report them for spam. haha


Kimberly Castleberry March 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I’m very aggressive in reporting spam. I have no tolerance or room for it on any social platform. Those that can’t play with ethics and within the rules just make life a PITA for the rest of us and I gladly return the favor ;) Thanks Ronald!


MandySwift March 23, 2011 at 9:27 am

Cool, thanks for flagging Kim. I agree, even though the sentiment behind the multiple #FF tags is there, I personally do not really see the point of them … I mean who is ever really going to go out of their way to connect with a bunch of names?
…Contrast that to a really nicely formatted @mention telling people WHY they should follow … it’s in a completely different league. If I saw that and the person was in my niche, I would be straight over to check them out :)

As with all of these things, much is down to the sentiment in which we use these tools – is your intention to spread gratitude or to ‘look cool in front of a bunch of people’ or to try and pick up ‘points’ or ‘prizes’ for yourself. When you can answer that one honestly, you probably know on which side of the ‘law’ you sit :)

Thanks for raising.


Quay March 23, 2011 at 9:30 am

Dear God, #ff blows. Not the concept, it’s the way that people do it that bothers me. Doing this:

#ff @pam @joe @keri @taylor @john

does not make me want to follow any of those people. I don’t know why anyone does that as, imo, it’s highly ineffective. Does it really kill you to take 2 seconds to say something nice about each of the people, as mentioned in this article?


Kimberly Castleberry March 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm

EXACTLY Quay! When I see lines like that it makes my eyes glaze over! That’s not doing anyone any favors…. not ourselves, not the names mentioned, and certainly not OUR followers who are having to watch such rubbish clutter up their pretty feeds.

When I do @name @name @name tagging in my #Gratitude or Thx for RT tagging… then it’s not really a promotion for the person as much as it is a quick way of saying thank you. In all honesty it would be a better DM but multi-name DMs aren’t something that works (thankfully or we’d have even more DM spam). So I use them where they work and otherwise skip em.

To recommend someone … yeah.. we’re going to have to give up a precious extra 60 – 90 seconds to write something thoughtful. If the person isn’t worth it, WHY are we recommending them again?!
Thanks Quay!


Marchi March 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm

It seems many twitter citizens have their own rules on what to or not to do on twitter and with many (sad to say) their rules only apply to the rest of us!!!
Now, in my opinion Kim, when you do @name @name @name tagging in your #Gratitude or Thx for RT tagging… it might not *really be a promotion for those individual mentioned, but to many, it might be considered spamming. Like there is a quick way of saying thank you, why not having a quick way of appreciating certain tweeps, via #ff.
If I’m expected to give a reason why I’ve included someone in my #ff tweet, the same (once again) should apply to why someone is included in a #gratitude tweet.
“Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.” Franklin D. Roosevelt


Kimberly Castleberry March 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I most definitely agree with you Marchi, that it pushes the realm of spam. I honestly wish there were a way to rapidly say thanks to folks just to quickly acknowledge RTs en masse that was useable. This is the reason I have backed off the frequency/etc of using that method. However, a lot of what is possible has changed as my twitter account has grown. Individual thank yous were possible when I have 5 RTs per day. As I now average 40+ per day I am constantly looking for new solutions. Unfortunately skipping out on thanking people puts me in the realm of snobbish while thanking en masse puts me in the realm of spammer while thanking individually is not possible. I balance out using a few mass tweets, with true quality #FFs for those that RT me a lot to high quality accounts and pray for the best! LOL I cant please everyone and I’m well aware that my #Gratitude hits the same target as the default FollowFridayHelper tweets. I’d love to hear your thoughts for managing this much volume on a limited time available per day, Marchi.


MarchiP April 13, 2011 at 1:55 am

How’s this for a later reply. Sorry Kimberly, took some time off and am still unable to catch up!!
Individual thank/gratitude tweets are impossible for many twitter citizens, at times I find me lost and confused trying to reply to everyone; and I *very often mention more than one individual in a #gratitude tweet as I do with #FFs.
These days, many tweets can be considered as spam and we now have to give away our freedom of tweet to those individuals that for some reason, have decided to form their own guidelines, that to be honest I totally disagree with.
I think of myself as an “easy going tweep”…. as long as my followers are not engaging in legal pitfalls, it’s all good with me!!
Greetings, Kimberly…

Brankica March 23, 2011 at 10:37 am

I am glad if they start blocking people who use tweets like that, to blast us with links and millions of mentions. And of course I hope they will be able to leave alone people that are sending tweets like Karen did in the screenshot.

Great post Kim, I think about this subject a lot, and a few weeks back I started blocking all users that blast me with tweets like those with links to unrelated stuff.


Kimberly Castleberry March 24, 2011 at 12:35 am

Brankica, as spammy as the default output from FollowFriday Helper is, I think it’s highly unlikely that anyone that uses it for more than one or two tweets a week is going to be unaffected by this. The violation of that tweet according to the memo… is going to be viewed in regards to frequency… and that’s going to be what’s going to get someone in trouble I believe. First we have the situation that that tweet pattern matches with spam (if link inclusion is not considered, which their memo does not imply they’re looking at)… and second there is a HIGH amount of people that feel tweets like that are a complete waste and have made sure twitter has heard about it, so they’re not going to feel inclined to protect them as serving the system.

How often do you take the time to follow everyone that everyone in your stream recommends like that?

PS: I’m aggressive with the REPORT button in hootsuite which is report/block and helps me keep junk under control. I don’t have the brain space to deal with idiots on a daily basis and sometimes it feels good to kick someone’s butt LOL!


Brankica March 24, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I am completely with you on this one. I also use report/block more and more.

And I really never follow people recommended like that. I am more likely to follow two sorts of mention. Either a follow like in your third screenshot or if I see one of my favorite people communicating with someone.


Kimberly Castleberry March 24, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Cool so then I think you also see how, if you’re not following the people recommended like that… that likely no one else is either… and that’s why its just “noise”. If it doesn’t generate any click throughs it has no actual tangible result except making clutter. To a degree it makes the recipient feel “seen” which is important in RT thank yous etc, but as far as follow recommendations I really really hope this improves the quality of them!

Although I use the #FF tag – I rarely use it on Fridays – its an “attention grabber” when used on other days of the week. I tend to do a recommendation style tweet whenever I’m feeling inspired, not when it’s a certain day of the week. That helps keep it out of the noise flood and put more eyes on it I feel too. (I do my gratitude/thx for rt stuff on fridays though because it SHOULD be lost in the noise rather than polluting another day’s stream…. it honestly would be best as DMs but multi DMs aren’t available.)

Love ya girl!


Ken Mueller March 23, 2011 at 11:16 am

I gotta say, I wouldn’t mind if those long lists on #FF disappeared. What usually happens is that the same people give the same lists week in and week out. And everyone in those “laundry list” tweets then retweets it! Why do we need to clutter the feed with mere shoutouts? If you really want me to follow someone, tell me WHY I should follow them. If you’re just doing multiple shoutouts, I won’t even give you a second thought, and I certainly won’t follow those people.

And good riddance to the spam, though they come a lot less frequently than the #FF tweets!


Jennifer Hogan March 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Thanks, Kim for this information! I found you through your Empowered Tribe facebook post. I was not aware of a new Twitter “policy,” but I had already noticed the difference of some people’s #FF mention and loved the quality of their post. I agree with Ken….. So much more personable than just a laundry list. {I am guilty of the laundry list, too! :) But I’m going to go for quality recs from now on!} Thanks so much. Cheers to less clutter!


marie March 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm

i try to say thanks to all that RT me…so i’m wondering how this will affect things. It normally looks like Thx 4 RTs @……@…. @…. @… etc etc etc

and, I already spend enough time in twitterjail, so having to separate this out would be even harder to avoid jail time :)

Thx for sharing!



Kimberly Castleberry March 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Marie, that’s exactly the issue we don’t know. We do know that most agree that even the Thx 4 RTs @ @ @ @ (which I do similar with Gratitude) are still amounting to noise and again not the intended use of twitter. However, it seems that what we have confirmed as “guilty” included a link, which the thanks noise does not. So does that make it in the clear? Doubtful but possible. I for the most part have gotten away from that, and in hootsuite I really quickly open the ID of the person that RTd me, flip to their timeline tab, and see if I can find something to share. This lets them know they’re being “seen” by me, without generating noise. Then when someone is being exceptionally delightful over the course of some extended time, I take the time to write them a real #FF recommendation. I also make use of Follow Friday Helper to help me keep track of who’s mentioned me several times that week, and those I do use a “noisey” tweet for, but again I try to keep the total volume of those low. It’s not perfect, I give you that. But so far its working. There are so many better ways to say thank you than these chain-letters LOL Like everything else though, it most likely just comes down to moderation (everything in moderation, including moderation!)


Janine Murray March 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Until Twitter allows multiple-party DM’s, the need for using several @’s remains … ie. When you want to communicate to several people at once. I like still having that option available.
Also, most of the spam I receive now is in the form of a personal @ to me, mentioning something like an iPad or iPhone or whatever I might be interested in. I rarely see the list kind anymore (“Hey @javaj9, check out this great deal … Blah blah blah!”).


Kimberly Castleberry March 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Janine, I’m fairly certain that there is some filtering in this for “repetitive use”, probably also “frequency in a short duration” and likely also “is the person being mentioned engaging in the dialog”. I can’t prove that, but it would seem to mesh well with what I’m seeing. However, filtering by a hashtag is actually twitter’s preferred and considered “correct” source for speaking with a large number of people and if you’re finding that you do it a LOT then I’d really suggest designating yourself a unique hashtag and using tweetchat. When it comes to occasional use, I don’t think you’re likely to see the flagging we are seeing with this. Could be wrong of course though as it really depends on how their filters are set up and how exactly you make use of it. I find it interesting that you’ve seen an increase in single-name spam, as I wonder if thats happened because of this rule going in place and perhaps we’re only now realizing its in place but the spammers have known for weeks?


Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny March 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Tweeters who create bothersome tweets can be very creative and difficult to catch. I use the block feature to rid myself of them. I received a series of tweets two times in a row that offered very chatty comments as if we were having a conversation. We weren’t! Very imaginative. Twitter is doing it’s best to catch the obvious offenders. But that will only encourage them to think smarter :(


Kimberly Castleberry March 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Hey Cheryl, it’s really part of human nature. As long as there are rules, there will be rule breakers. As long as rules tighten down, there will also be those that make sport of finding a way to avoid the rules. It’s Lao Tzu vs Machiavelli…. do we function as though all tweets are inherently good of dangerous. It takes a careful balance. This is a time I think this is a move in the right direction as the “loss” to the “good guys” isn’t really something the good guys should have been using too often anyways. It is a shame that there will always be rule breakers, I know what you mean :(


Christine Casey March 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Hi Kim ~ I had seen your previous mention (I believe on Facebook) about how you didn’t feel the numerous groupings of @ mentions in a #FF were so great b/c they were not personalized or tell your followers why they should follow so and so, and quite honestly, before I had seen your post, I never really thought about it. After reading your thoughts about it though, I did agree with you, and have since been making tweets more personalized on Twitter. :-) Christine


Kimberly Castleberry March 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Thanks Christine! It just improves the depth of the relationship when we take time – even far less frequently – to really reach out and scratch someones back and say “hey look S/HE really rocks”. That’s when it means something… whether its at a party, on twitter, in a blog post, or in front of our offline friends. The same concept applies. It’s very different than saying “Jane, Jack, Judy, Bill, Tom, Beth, Mack, Jessie, Mary and Bill all rock”. Different impact. Its tempting though to go for frequency (which almost necessitates spammy behavior) and to go for mass-exposure and particularly to emulate what we see others doing. It does make a difference though when we really make the reach!


bilal March 24, 2011 at 2:50 am

Thanks Kim for bringing this news into my knowledge,because i left the tweeter bcoz of so much spamming .But not very happy that they took a step to clean it up now again i will start my online business there …


Alex March 24, 2011 at 10:37 am

Hmm, I wasn’t really aware that twitter was doing this, but I hope their policy isn’t so strict and in my opinion they should still allow messages with a lot of @mentions if this messages aren’t published withing a short timeframe.

I know that it looks spammy and ugly but some still rely on this feature to thank other people or save them some time when mentioning others.


Ana March 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Wow, you are right, Kim – there’s life on this blog! :)

I can’t believe your sticky posts kept me thinking you stopped posting altogether – for a while now.

Anyway, as usual, I had no idea; so thanks for enlightening me. Should effect me too much, but it’s be interesting to see how things change because of it.

Ana invites you to read…Email List Building Secrets Your Thank You Page is Keeping from YouMy Profile


Kimberly Castleberry March 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Ana you got me laughing so hard at the moment! Yeah I suppose my sticky posts are confusing people though they need to be up there or they’d be buried and they’re important!
Yeah there is a lot of questions about this policy change as well as us not knowing how long ago it actually went into affect.
I already have one support ticket in with twitter on a different topic and when that comes back I may file a support ticket with a request for clarification on this topic. We’ll see though, waiting on their slow replies annoys me at times.
Glad ya came to give my “dead” blog a visit LOL!


Maggie March 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I’ve recently joined the Twitter gang after holding off for a while. I feel so out of the loop when it comes to using it, finding legitimate people to follow and preventing Spam as you’ve mentioned. However, I’ll admit that I had no idea what #FF meant when I was on it today and you’ve definitely helped with that. I think it’s pretty apparent to tell when a person is Spam or not per tweet. But how do you tell if a user is when finding people to follow and such?


Miss Leslie March 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Hi Kim. I can always count on you to keep me up with what is going on in the world of social media. Thanks for sharing this information.

Wishing you a song in your heart,
Miss Leslie @ Music with Miss Leslie.com


Susan Redmon March 26, 2011 at 10:02 am

Kim, thanks for the Twitter insights.

It’s nice to learn Twitter is listening to its user base. The site has become a tiresome scrolling list of classified ads and annoying SPAM…not exactly what the founders had in mind!

Keep up the good work!

Looking forward to your next post,


Kimberly Castleberry March 28, 2011 at 6:12 am

Susan, just like Facebook, the power of avoiding the scrolling spam fest is actually in using lists. Create a twitter list, put the awesome people in it, and then create a column in hootsuite that only displays the list (and ignore the home stream). That’s what I do. You can have 20 total lists so theres a good amount of flexibility. Unlike facebook lists, twitter lists are PUBLIC so others can follow your awesome list too which is fun as I follow several lists I did not create!


Willena Flewelling March 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Great article, as always, Kim. My blog is a DoFollow, and I have CommentLuv, but don’t have KeywordLuv or a Twitter link. I think I’d better look into them.

Willena Flewelling
Willena Flewelling invites you to read…Overcoming Challenges – Richard Clayderman with No Fingers on Right HandMy Profile


Kimberly Castleberry March 28, 2011 at 6:09 am

Definitely Willena! Be sure to let me know (in the post “Help Me Find The DoFollows”, where I ask for DF/CL/KL blogs) if you add them so I can get you in the new directory when I refresh it!


Chris Cree March 27, 2011 at 5:12 am

Heya Kim! I’m glad Twitter is taking action to reduce this Twitter spam. But like you said, there are several legit practices that can look a bit like the spam they are trying to eliminate.

Another one that falls into that gray “I wonder if this will get your account banned” is the paper.li tweets that say something like

The Amplify Daily is out! [bit.ly link] Top stories by @user1 @user2 @user3 @user4 @user5

That seems to come close to fitting the formula too. Personally I appreciate being mentioned in those tweets so I hope they don’t starte getting marked as spammers.


Kimberly Castleberry March 28, 2011 at 6:35 am

Hey Chris,

My thought is that paper.li will not be banned because its posting-rate per-account is low. If the trigger mechanism is looking for high-volume activity than … what is paper.li’s max, 2? … per day shouldn’t trigger this. As of yet I’ve not heard of anyone using paper.li that has received a report although if the rule is new it may be too early.

There is also the possibility that their mechanism “may” have a whitelist. Again another thing we don’t know. Don’t you just hate playing guessing games when we’re invited to use this for business?


Chris Cree March 28, 2011 at 7:44 am

Yeah. It’s a tough one. They have to keep their cards close to their chest to not tip of the spammers. But that means the rest of us are left guessing. There’s always that concern hanging out there that Twitter might decide that something we’ve been doing all along suddenly becomes classified as spam and disrupt our businesses. :(

The worst part is all the posts that are out there recommending what used to be borderline practices that have now been moved into the spam category. Newbies searching on Google may be prone to getting sucked into getting their accounts banned by following some of the advice that may rank highly because the approaches they tout “worked” in the past.


Thomas March 27, 2011 at 5:50 am

Hi Kimberly
Thank you for bringing this topic up. I understand the issue and I understand the concern. I only think that it is fair that Twitter is trying to do something to protect their product against spam, but sometimes it can be a very difficult task to do that in a fair way. Maybe Twitter need to make some kind of group function that people can use instead. Nobody likes spam but spammers ;-)


Patricia March 27, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Hi Kim

I’m so glad Twitter is taking action. I block spammers and have no time for all those @mentions going on and on. I acknowledge all my followers who RT my posts, interact with me. But I do it with a personal tweet.

And I’ve never been a fan of #FF with endless names but so much more effective it is one person #FF and the reason for following them. I would click over and check them out. But don’t even read the others!

Patricia Perth Australia


Rebecca Olkowski March 29, 2011 at 7:58 am

I think if you truly want to highlight someone, as in a FF, you should limit your highlight to one individual and then write a short note on why you recommend that person. A list of people doesn’t let anyone know anything about them. I’m also glad they are cracking down on obvious spammers.


Karen J Miller March 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Hi Kim,

This post caught my eye from your Newsletter so I took a peek.
I honestly do not use Twitter in the way you describe in this post, but I sure do appreciate reading your viewpoint on the issue.

Just becasue there is a groovy new application that makes our jobs easier, we still have to knwo how to use it effectively so we are adding value and building relationships.

I am happy to share your post with others who will benefit form your golden nuggets!


Ryan Johnson March 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm


It’s good to see that Twitter has decided to crack down on this “noise” in an highly traffic’d area in which substance and sheer real communication should take precedent.

I enjoyed your post.

“If you want to change things in your life, you have to change things in your life.” – Kevin Trudeau


Brian March 31, 2011 at 11:54 am

This is a very good move by twitter. Like a filter it’s going to keep the spammers away which is very important and it’s good that twitter is trying to frame some strict moves. FF was never of much help, never favored FF. I agree with Rebecca, that highlight should be on one individual.


Justin Germino April 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I was just using FF tweets with multiple users, this makes a service like FFHelper potentially “spam” and a violation according to Twitter if you use more than 1 @name in the reply at a time.

I was however using this to inform my Twitter players when the poem was published and send them the URL, so this could have jeopardized my account. I don’t like sending a @reply to 11-17 people manually in a row, so I would use 3-4 ppl in same tweet so I have to send out less replies. I am going to have to think of a more creative way to inform my players when the poem is completed now.


Mani Viswanathan April 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Well they will consider it as a spam when too much hashtags + links are used along side @’s.


Deb Augur April 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Hi Kim,

The new policy won’t effect how I tweet because I have always stayed away from that type of thing. However, I think it’s great because I often seem to attract those kinds of tweets for some reason. I can’t tell you how many I’ve seen that implies that I support / recommend / approve / purchased something when I never did. Wasn’t sure if I should report them as spam or not but I always wished I could delete them!

Sounds like a great policy to me.


Curt Bizelli April 2, 2011 at 5:19 am

I see this just as another way to crack down on our FREEDOM. Its not difficult to hit “spam & block” on a spammy tweet that occasionally comes through, but it is difficult to get around the spam filters when wanting to mention more than one person in a tweet. Sounds completely ridiculous to me (and to be honest) p#sses me off! Thanks for the valuable information though. I’ll have to restrict my FREEDOM from now on.


Emma April 3, 2011 at 3:31 am

Hi Kim,

I actually stopped doing follow friday recommendations for all of the community because I felt it didn’t have much value and they don’t look very personal. It’s not worth the points to me!

I actually love to just shout out to somebody amazing with a recommendation to my followers as and when I come across them. Though, quite honestly, I haven’t for a while… so maybe follow friday has it’s purpose by reminding us to appreciate those who have been good to us.

In the future, I think giving a personal follow friday shoutout to each person in my syndication group may be the way forwards…

Right, on my way to check out this cool tool you mention!

Emma :-)


Tracey April 5, 2011 at 9:08 am

Kim I am just starting to use twitter again, although I never really did get into it before and I must thank you for sharing this with me. The only thing I really knew about was #FF from the first time around! LOL

Glad to know what not to do since that is usually where I would start otherwise! No multiple @’s for me!

“Dream, Believe, Become…”
Tracey Keefer


Yolie Zenaski April 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Hello Kimberly,

First time poster! I have not been all that busy with twitter but a lot of my friends are and sometimes what they post look garbage to me and I always thought twitter was particularly lenient with what people put out there.

Still, you could say that for just about anything you say online! :)



Lori July 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Is there a benefit to someone using my @twitter name for spamming? Had someone today send out a porn link with one of my accounts mentioned with it. My followers do not see it, do they?

I’m trying to figure out why someone might send this kind of spam and feel like I’m missing something :(


Joey O'Connor July 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Hi Kim,
Thanks for your post, but I still have a question concerning twitter time-management. I’ve been using Twitter for a year now and I’m wondering if there’s an easier way than individually typing in each name for an @mention. I don’t want to abuse @mention, but I do want to save time.

For example, several people have reviewed my book and I’d like to thank them in one tweet (time saving, but yes less personal, though I don’t want to keep mentioning my book in each individual tweet). Yes, I could message each person, but I am looking for some time saving ideas.

Thanks for your insight and help!


Noel Addison October 25, 2011 at 9:48 am

I totally agree with your post. I also feel annoyed and irritated seeing those spammy mentions on twitter.


Astro Gremlin February 23, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Kim, I would hope that Twitter warns people not to combine mentions and a link. I’ve never done it but might have by accident. Thanks for the heads up.
Astro Gremlin invites you to read…Camping Kitchen Plus: The Light My Fire Titanium SporkMy Profile


Kim Castleberry March 1, 2012 at 2:19 am

Hey Astro, Twitter doesn’t set out to slap someone who does it occasionally/rarely when using it to have a discussion with three/four people at once on a rare occasion. What they hit is the person that sends out a half dozen or more of these a day generally. However, no, there is no warning at all. Its just a flag. Generally though when someone does it accidentally, once they contact support (that their account is off) Twitter looks at it and acknowledges an accident and reinstates. It’s really more about people using it for mass replies, mass thanks, mass posting etc. That’s not what it’s there for as I know you know well!


Anonymous September 19, 2012 at 8:34 am

I’m constantly getting this Twitter spam! When will it stop?! Leave me alone!


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