As a regular and enthusiastic Twitter user, I am starting to wonder where it is going. I particular enjoy the open forum Twitter offers. By that I mean you are not restricted in who you can follow. And logically, who follows you back. This is the true beauty of Twitter. However, with this freedom comes a price.

Every day I find I am being followed, harassed, botted and spammed by more and more marketers, salesmen and women, gurus, coaches, god floggers and plain old fashioned pains in the backside. With an email address and very simple auto posting tools, anyone can set up as many automated accounts as they like, and start pestering the living daylights out of you.

Added to this is Twitter’s lack of control over dead, inactive, duplicate, as well as multiple accounts. In trying to clean out the crud from my Twitter Home Feed over recent weeks, I have to say that I was shocked at the number of ‘automated bot rubbish’ followers I ended up unfollowing. Literally thousands!

Another Twitter pain is the ability of unscrupulous accounts to abuse not only your user name by posting unwanted advertising to your mentions, but worse, to your direct message feed. These two abuses are really unacceptable but seemingly tolerated by Twitter.

Unfortunately, as Twitter moves into its logical next phase of actually making money, will these problems become worse? Will the ‘Twitter Experience’ that Twitter has pumped for so long, really mean being belted around the head by marketers and turning Twitter into one gigantic ‘flogging forum’? My greatest fear is that Twitter has now become such a ‘connectivity’ conduit on the internet, that it has the potential to become a true menace.

That would be a pity, as the idea behind Twitter is wonderful. I enjoy the useful information many uses post and love the interaction with the so called ‘real people’ on Twitter.

But as each day goes by, I am wondering if Twitter will end up as simply another capitalist exercise in greed.

Forget the users and just count the money.

Where Is Twitter Going?
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11 thoughts on “Where Is Twitter Going?

  • 04/11/2010 at 12:07 am

    Would be a shame.

  • 04/11/2010 at 4:10 am

    That would really suck. Especially since we "met" on Twitter. :)

  • 04/11/2010 at 10:12 am

    Like all so-called social networks Derek, sooner or later those of us who like to tweet to our friends are coldly looked at as potential customers for X ,Y or Z corporation. Whether or not I continue using it depends on Twitter itself. If it continues to allow all the 'Spammers' out there to flog their particular unwanted garbage then Twitter and I will simply part company…

  • 12/11/2010 at 7:34 pm

    There's nothing much you can do about unsolicited mentions, but there are ways around most of the other nuisances.

    First, your direct message feed is safe, the only people who can DM you are people that YOU follow. Just stop following as soon as someone sends you an out of order DM.

    Second, the drastic method of screening out bots from following you, is to protect your account, so that prospective followers have to request first, giving you a chance to vet them first.

    The problem with this is that non-followers can't see your tweets, which means you're much less likely to have genuine people who may have shared interests following you, since they'll have no incentive to bother.

    An alternative is to leave your account unprotected, but to sign up for something like which will send a DM to EVERYBODY that follows you, requesting them to verify that they're human by using the standard CAPTCHA method.

    If they validate themselves in this way, you receive an email to tell you as much (and of course, if you don't receive the email, you can block them.)

  • 10/08/2011 at 4:32 pm

    With “New Twitter” here it seems they have indeed taken the final step towards greed.

  • 10/08/2011 at 5:46 pm

    Hence why my account is private and you have to ask permission to follow, I can then click the link of the person asking to follow and see if it’s a sales thing, etc. My husband’s isn’t and I end up going through and “cleaning” it out occasionally. I don’t like the “mentions” or “sharing ” your friends can do because most times, I am clueless as to what it’s even about, but alas you can’t stop that or I would. Bottom line, they all want to make money.

  • 27/08/2011 at 6:31 am

    Sadly the $ is mightier than the sword is the land of social media. To use Twitter has been an education and when I think I have mastered one pitfall, another quickly presents itself. For now I am off to read your related posts. No reason why learning can’t be fun. ß

  • 04/09/2011 at 9:42 pm

    Hi. Interesting point.

    I don’t like that either. I have blocked some users and I’m checking whom to follow, as much as I can. But I get your point.

    However, having just read your other post on Facebook account being disabled, I think that it’s a matter of “either – or”. I don’t believe that a middle way is possible to be established and monitored. It takes too many resources to do it. To change the Twitter way is to make it close to or identical to the Facebook’s way.

    In any case, since we use the Internet, even with a simple e-mail account or just surfing, we’re exposed to many threats. So, we just have to get used to it and take as much precautions as possible.

  • 04/09/2011 at 10:33 pm

    Wow. Didn’t know there was a spam presence on twitter that really made much of a difference, but I’m probably too low a profile for them. I don’t tweet a lot, but as I get more used to it that may accelerate. But I do really like seeing the variety out there and the fun comments and wit–I hope there is a way to blunt spammers when and if I start seeing same. Thanks, G

  • 04/09/2011 at 11:18 pm

    You know I have to say that Twitter is one of those things thats easy to abuse without knowing it. I remember in a fit of anger once picking a couple fights on it a few months ago, and seeing a few of my followers disappear. I noticed that you Derek unfollowed me, which is OK, I can still comment here, and I’m sorry if I offended you back then. Anyway, Twitter was, is and will always be an easily abused platform, so to speak. The best we can do is live amongst it.

    • 05/09/2011 at 9:24 am

      Twitter is a beast sometimes James. Thank you for letting me know about my unfollowing you. This is a good example of the reliability of Twitter, because I didn’t unfollow you. Well if I did, it wasn’t intentionally.

      The problem is with the number of inactive accounts. Because there are just so many, I have a tool to clean them out once an account has been inactive for long time. However, this is not 100% reliable as Twitter sometimes list users under the category of ‘No Tweet Found’, when in fact the account is indeed active.

      I have found this happen on a number of occasions and have either unfollowed users inadvertently, or had users unfollow me for the same reason. So anyway, I’m back following you and all’s well with the world once again!

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