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More details on Twitter's failure to control spammers
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jducoeur
Ah -- there's the followup.

In my rant the other day about Twitter's incompetence, I mentioned that I was continuing to get emails *after* I had rejected an email address. This just happened three times in a row, all identical, so I now see a bit more of what's going on.

The original fake accounts had email addresses of the form "wrigk2px@w***.org". I definitely rejected these, saying that they were not valid addresses. What has now just happened is that I've received matching emails from Twitter, one to each of them, with a subject line of "Thanks for checking in, [Fake Name]" saying (with a pretty graphic), "Nice to see you again. With the Twitter app [big graphic of a phone], you'll never miss a moment of the conversation. [Download button]". These are addressed to "RECLAIMED_172128452_wrigk2px@w***.org".

I have no idea what this "RECLAIMED" nonsense is about, but at this point I am much more prepared to slam Twitter for incompetence. I'm honestly unsure whether this followup spam is being initiated by the spammers or by Twitter themselves, but they are totally not taking enough care to remove bogus email addresses from the system. There is no excuse whatsoever for me continuing to receive emails to my domain after I have explicitly told them that this is not a real account.

And I should note, the really I am *seriously* angry at them is the complete lack of *any* obvious mechanism to report this. Their help system is a maze of twisty little passages that tries to enumerate every kind of problem they can think of, automating the support for each one. This problem isn't listed anywhere, and the ones that are even vaguely close all lead into complex and inappropriate forms that are definitely *not* appropriate. I can't find an "other" category anywhere, nor any way to, eg, contact a support representative, after about fifteen minutes of clicking links all over the place. So I haven't yet been able to figure out any way to report this problem, leaving me with little option but to vent publicly. *That* is almost definitionally incompetent customer service.

(The only thing I can think of is to link to @Support, which I'm going to try with this post.)

I suspect I'm going to have no choice but to install the rather expensive Block Sender app (thanks to Laurion for suggesting this line of thinking), and hope that it works. But even if it does, Twitter deserves brickbats for forcing me into this and not providing a decent approach...

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I suspect this appearance of incompetence is just reasonably well-disguised malice. I'm pretty sure it is in Twitter's interest to have more "users" regardless of the diminishing percentage of them that are actual humans.

I have a similar problem with AT&T. Someone appears to have signed up for an account using my email address and when I called their support line yesterday at 1:00, they told me to call back during normal business hours.

I could be wrong, but if it actually is twitter sending, it's probably the original spammer using some kind of account reclaimation mechanic from twitter to regain control of their spam accounts. Or try to, anyway.

I don't think Twitter is deliberately enabling this kind of stuff. Like any other online service that serves real users, they -lose- gobs of money from spam, and morover, their real business is impeded to the amount that spammers (who are definitionally parasitic and valueless unless they're willing to pay actual money or eyeballs, which they never are) infest their system.

However, they can still architect their system with holes and methods that enable spammers (whoops!).

I could be wrong, but if it actually is twitter sending, it's probably the original spammer using some kind of account reclaimation mechanic from twitter to regain control of their spam accounts. Or try to, anyway.

That's my theory as well, based on the email address, but it's pretty bizarre -- truth is, I haven't yet figured out a way in which that email address makes any sense at all. It does seem to be coming from Twitter, though. (Mind, I have no indication that these people are trying to spam *me*; they're simply abusing my domain in order to create what appear to be botnet accounts.)

I don't think Twitter is deliberately enabling this kind of stuff.

Oh, I agree -- I think folks in this thread are being unduly cynical. But they're a big enough company that I am entirely happy to slam them for incompetence and indifference, and those appear to be the case here...

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