How does TweetTornado do its dirty deeds? Danchev says that it "allows users to create unlimited Twitter accounts, add unlimited number of followers, which combined with its ability to automatically update all of bogus accounts through proxy servers with an identical message make it the perfect Twitter spam tool." It essentially exploits a flaw in Twitter's new registration system that doesn't require valid email addresses for new subscribers. (see Danchev's post for more tech-oriented details.)
Oh, thanks a lot Twitter. How hard can it be to send out an automated message to validate new subscribers--and keep the rest of us safe?
Now, there may be a ton of aggressive marketers (as well as nefarious spammers, phishers, etc.) that will think TweetTornado is a cool tool for helping them get their messages into *your* unsuspecting Twitter stream. That's where the best defense is a good offense. Here are a five short steps for keeping your Twitter stream spam-free:
And if you inadvertently end up following a spammer, or even if somebody you think is ok begins to overly-self promote (or some other weirdness starts to occur), there's nothing wrong with un-following and even blocking. I will un-follow someone if I get a "gut feeling" about them, and I will definitely block a spammer. Whether it's a porn spammer, a phisher, or an overly aggressive marketer, spam is spam. Do away with it a.s.a.p.!
The key is to use your good judgment. And eventually, TweetTornado will end up in the deadpool.
Further: TechCrunch IT mentions "twitter squatting" The Twitter equivalent of domain squatting. And it was bound to happen.