Porn marketing with Twitter (aka Adult Friend Requests)

Well, they do say that the sex industry does a better job of adopting the newest technology. And in that spirit, I got my first Twitter porn spam. I don’t even use twitter all that much, but when I get an email from twitter telling me that I have a new follower, I am intrigued and will usually click the link to see if I recognize them on their twitter profile page.

Today, I received this email from Twitter:

MelvaTrevino (Trevino216) is now following your updates on Twitter.

A little information about MelvaTrevino:

31 followers
2 updates
following 981 people

This leads to a a profile with some erotic posts, and urls to adult dating sites that are obfuscated courtesty of TinyUrl.com

This is just the Twitter version of the Myspace friend request porn spam schemes. (That was a mouthful.) These spams made me tighten security and privacy settings on my Myspace account, and are one more reason why I stopped using Myspace.  Looks like I’ll probably have to do the same for Twitter. (My Bebo account also got crushed by porn friend request spam.)  I predict I’ll start to receive 5-10 Twitter porn spams a week before the month is out…if I don’t tighten the security.

2 things that come out of this:

1. If you run a social network in 2009 or later, you need to crowd source your spam feature. Just look at Craigslist. They provided simple tools to enable the users to police the site for them. I’m not saying it is easy to come up with a good spam filter algorithm on the backend, but it’s a requirement at this point. The networks shouldn’t be surprised if their traffic becomes largely spam, if they don’t take steps to fight the spam.

Twitter, this means that the emails and profile pages for new followers need to have ‘Report Spam’ links built in.

2. Kudo’s to Facebook for handling friend spam better than any other social network that I’ve used. I’ve never gotten a request from an escort service/porn site on Facebook. Great job! (Yes, the Facebook app spam was definitely an issue, but they’ve also committed enormous resources to improving that situation over the years.)

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