Over the last few days, I’ve been followed by _stuntdubl_ , _rustybrick, and _randfish_ to name just three on Twitter. None of these were the genuine article… as is obvious by the trailing or preceding underscores. They are phishers on Twitter trying to make you think their posts are from people “in the know” (Which I’ve just called Phwittering). The real Twitterers are, by the way, Rustybrick of SE Roundtable fameand Todd from Clientside.

The real giveaway is how many people follow back. I looked at the _RustyBrick Phisher and over 60 people had followed back (out of 2900 that the phisher had started to follow) so even in the world of the informed, a huge percentage are getting sucked in.

The moral? Don’t follow people you don’t know!



room1012 · January 30, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Good point. But couldn’t many of the followers be using one of those automated following systems?

Dixon Jones · January 31, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Well yes. I guess that’s true.

I wonder then… should we be interested in who falls into the follow trap for other reasons? I don’t see why an automated follow back makes much sense. I can see why “personalities” in it for fame itself would want to do it, but for any kind of quality to come out of Twitter blogs, surely you have to have some kind of trust or association with the people you follow?

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