Twitter Spam! Where is it coming from? Most of the internet marketers on Twitter have learned NOT to send out a torrent of spammy tweets. Only the most clueless and obnoxious send out a lot of the kind of blatant sales pitches that would get them unfollowed or even banned.
The problem is that they have started doing something even worse! They have found a way to get ordinary people to send out Twitter spam for them!
I blogged about this a couple months ago when Viral Tweets first came out. The way it works is that it forces the user to send out a Tweet before they can access something.
I can see how this might be a fair exchange if a marketer was requiring a Tweet in order to get a free ebook or a discount on a product or something else of real value.
However I really object to the current practice of requiring a Tweet in order to get a first look at something. I am seeing more and more pages that require you to make a Tweet just to see the sales page or video.
I am certainly not going to Tweet about something I have not yet seen! I don’t think anyone should have to do that and I don’t like the idea of the Twitterverse being polluted with brainless spammy Tweets.
If you don’t know what I am referring to, just look at this post about Viral Tweets. I show it in action so you can see how it works. I think Viral Tweets is OK if used with restraint by a marketer giving away something of value.
But what do you do if you come upon a page where you are required to Tweet just to find out what is going on? I think it would be extremely disrespectful of your followers to Tweet at them about something you know nothing about.
I believe the solution is to set up a secondary Twitter account just for sending those forced Tweets.
Most people already have secondary email accounts that they use when they want to request a free ebook or an insurance quote or some other thing that they know is going to generate a lot of spam.
I am recommending that you set up a similar thing on Twitter in order to spare your followers and the whole Twitter community from brainless spammy forced Tweets.
Here are step by step instructions on how to stop sending forced tweets:
Log out of your main Twitter account and then sign up for a new account. Don’t follow anyone.
Now here is the key to preventing the spammy Tweets: Go to the “Settings” tab and under “Account,” at the bottom of the page, check the box where it says “protect my updates.” This does 2 things. First, it prevents anyone from following you. A lot of people will follow anyone and you don’t want them exposed to the Tweets coming from this account. Second, it prevents your Tweets from being included in the main Twitter timeline (where even your non-followers might see them.) Protecting your updates effectively mutes your secondary Twitter account and prevents you from polluting Twitter with your forced Tweets. When you are done setting this up, log out of the secondary account and then log back into your primary account and continue to use it as always.
You don’t throw garbage out of your car windows or pour used motor oil into storm drains do you? You are a responsible person and you care about the environment right? Well the Twitterverse is part of our environment now, so think about doing your part to protect it from pollution too.
Whenever you are forced to Tweet, just enter the username and password for your secondary account. The forced Tweet will go nowhere and will bother no one.
You can stay logged into your primary Twitter account and continue to enjoy it just as you always have. Continue to use your primary account to Tweet only about what you want to Tweet about.
Refuse to spam Twitter with forced Tweets! Your followers will thank you and the whole Twitter community will benefit from your respectful responsible actions.