12 reasons NOT to follow someone on Twitter

T(w)itter ye not

(NOTE: This post was moved from milliontwits.com, posted on June 1st, 2009. For all it’s dated, it’s still valid!)

Hypocritical I know, but seriously, go for quality, not quantity. A thousand genuine followers beats a million automated bot scraped followers hands down!

Here’s my take on it: if they don’t RT … if they don’t @reply … then it is almost certain they also don’t read YOUR posts and offer little if any value to you. Worse, you are almost certainly missing interesting stuff due to their spam.

For this account I want to MANUALLY gain 1,000,000 followers, simply to prove anyone can with the right effort.
I am prepared to follow back the same number.

It is my firm belief and experience that between 95% and 99% of the 32 million+ Twitter accounts are now in the hands of self-interested affiliate marketers, spammers, phishers and worse parasites and predators.

At present, due to the insane task I’ve set myself, I’m not following all these rules for (@)milliontwits, but you can be assured I rigidly apply all the following to my other Twitter account. Many of you real people can relate, but here’s my dirty dozen:

[1.] The profile picture is very clearly female – but they have a man’s name. Similarly with all the other reasons the account, name and/or image don’t add up. For
example the username is MaryLou and they call themselves Ann Marie, or their image shows a golf cart and the profile says they are a dating agency.

Sad spammer using a girls photo to get followers

[2.] The home page is an affiliate link.

[3.] The posts make idiotic claims like “I made $11,678 in a week”

Typical spammers ludicrious claims

… and they give an affiliate link to some naff, barely literate, website made by a drunk let loose with Microsoft Word. You can add to this all the self-proclaimed ‘experts’ – for instance SEO experts with unranked websites full of awful source code.

[4.] Their account ends in a number, or in abc – these are nearly always spammers*

Spammer randomly generating account names

*Noting that some people put their age (silly that one!) or date of birth in the account, and regulars of the #twitterjail will often add a 1 to a supplementary account. Added to this:

@Jayman888 (@)milliontwits agree with it all apart from point 4 , I have the 888 because it’s the lucky Chinese number and I’m a lucky Chinaman.

[5.] They don’t state when obscured links are affiliate ones.
Unless there is an advisory note like ‘ad‘ or ‘aff‘ they are a spammers (or worse) taking advantage of the shrunken url’s.

[6.] ALL their posts go to an affiliate site or to their own blog / website! WHY are so many follower this spammer!?

WHY are so many follower this spammer!?

[7.] They are following hundreds, even thousands yet have few if any posts. (It is highly likely that those they do follow are completely random, scraped up en mass). Take a look at the one below. About 20,000 followers – yet they have no bio, no posts, nothing. Mental! WHY are these sheep following!? Spammers following spammers, bots following bots, Twitter at its ‘best’

Spammers following spammers, bots following bots.

[8.] They take other people Tweets and pass them off as their own.

[9.] They are pushing pyramid sales and MKM scams.

[10.] They can’t be bothered with a profile picture – applies especially to those following 1,000’s but only a score following them back. I particularly apply this one because a) it’s ugly and b) if the (spammer) won’t even make the effort to add a photo, they aren’t worth the time of day.

twitter default profile imag

For me, you can also add to the list those that show a stack of dollars for a profile. That’s just crass!

[11.] They are a bot! (Though a few bots can be funny!).

[12.] Filth should, of course, be blocked and reported.

Damn, it’s gone quiet, any Twitterers left here? Hello? Hello?

If you can think I’ve left any out, tell me in the comments and I’ll add them.


6 thoughts on “12 reasons NOT to follow someone on Twitter”

  1. Fab post, but how many get it? The ‘numbers game’ is so promoted, people don’t realize that followers who fit in your list are utterly useless to them. A couple more: those folks who post see whatever useless thing I’m promoting + a shortened URL and put in several users names (usually those who aren’t already following them), knowing you’ll see them when you check your @ replies and stupdily thinking that you’ll follow them. Also those folks who post names with the #FF hash all day Friday.

    (Originally posted on milliontwits.com)

  2. I’ve got another one for you. Always unfollow someone who NEVER responds to your tweets and only tweets in blocks of 5 or 7 messages. They never tweet about mundane or silly things either, just make a mill or 2 and by the way have you seen the latest greatest moneyspinner.

    (Originally posted on milliontwits.com)

  3. Great article! It seems like just about all my new followers are marketers or spammers. Where are the real people?!? With Twitter’s recent fix I shed about 60 followers, all bots, spammers or scammers. I’ve found methods like those above to be pretty helpful at weeding out the rest.

    (Originally posted on milliontwits.com)

  4. I agree with alot of these and I admit I am a newish follower but I love yer humour at times.

    So many marketers its getting worse to stop the spam and locing account isnt a freaking option as it takes the whole point of it away :(

    (Originally posted on Milliontwits.com)

  5. Hi. Just wanted to say that this is a really good set of advise for everyone at twitter because of the marketers swarming twitter nowadays
    and tho i don’t have a profile pic..i am indeed a real person L0lz. best of luck going about your goal although your doing a good job already :)

    (originally posted on Milliontwits.com)

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