A New Annoyance – Twitter Favourite Spam

I’ve noticed a lot of favourites on odd tweets lately, mostly my check-ins to beers from Untappd – then I started noticing some patterns.

I get a whole flood of favourites on a single tweet, all of them have innocuous looking twitter handles (A name and a couple of letters, or two names) – mostly with 2 numbers at the end, and they are populated Twitter accounts with bios, tweets, retweets etc. Seems like a fairly intelligent spam bot.

The only thing I did notice, is there’s no interaction – no replies to anyone, no conversations (which is suspicious for Twitter). Other than that, it’s pretty legit.

Take this avalance of favourites for example (click the image to see full size):

Twitter Favourite Spam

Twitter Favourite Spam indeed.

All within 8 minutes of each other, all on different Tweets, all on Tweets from Untappd. The interesting part is, because they are Twitter favourites, Gmail deems them important and puts them right at the top of the pile in the ‘Important’ inbox.

Which is the only reason I think perhaps the spammers are doing this. They don’t have spammy URLs in their profiles either.

After some reading, it seems like this method has been around since June 2013 (last year) and has bee noticed by a few people:

MY ‘FAVORITE’ TWITTER SPAMMERS
New Twitter spammers abuse ‘favorites': Seattle startup Meshfire explains

The other reason they are doing it is to pick-up followers by favouring, and then what? Maybe sell the accounts to spammers. Anyone else had this happening to them lately?

I’m not sure there’s a lot we can do other than block/mark as spam on the accounts and hope Twitter figures out how to stop this.

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2 Responses to A New Annoyance – Twitter Favourite Spam

  1. WinnieKepala April 23, 2014 at 12:16 am #

    Actually, I have occassional flood of tweet favourites for the most mundane tweets. It baffles me why so many people like those tweets so much . I’m never in the habit of following back just because someone retweeted or favourites my tweets, so I just ignore and go about my day.

    What a weird spam tactic. Should I report them as spam, you think?

    • ShaolinTiger April 23, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      Yah I would recommend that, I’m surprised this has been around since mid last year and Twitter hasn’t figured out a way to stop it yet.