Spotting a Spammer

Yesterday morning, I and millions around the world were watching the Formula 1 race from Spain.  In Canada, the broadcast is on TSN.  So, I’m sitting down with my regular routine of cereal and coffee to watch the race.  But, something was wrong.  The picture was not high definition and after a while, it clicked in that the broadcasters’ voices were different.  We weren’t actually watching the high definition broadcast from the BBC, it was SpeedTV’s coverage.

So, what do you do in this day and age?  You go ahead and complain on Twitter.  As I did a search on “TSN”, I noticed that I wasn’t the only one inquiring.  Some were doing so a little more aggressively than others.  But, we love our Formula 1.

Then, I noticed something strange.  There were comments in succession with the text TSN in a URL shortener.  URL shorteners need to be treated carefully as they are great for shortening things but how do you know where you’re headed when you click.

Somebody or something is pretty active.  I decided to look further.

In fact, there were a lot of updates from this account.  This is not looking good.  I’m curious but before checking out any of these links, I decide that I’d see what they look like in my browser.  I have the Web of Trust installed there which prejudges the links before clicking to help you make a decision about whether to go ahead or not.

Red circles are never good in any context.  WOT rates websites green, amber or red.  If you look, you’ll notice that the account doesn’t have a custom avatar.  In fact, when you check out the biography, there’s no indication as to who or what this account is.  So, it’s a pass on the links for me.

Thank you spidey senses and Web of Trust!



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2 responses to “Spotting a Spammer”

  1. Danny Nicholson Avatar

    Been getting a few tweets like this recently. Basically any account that tweets me nothing but a link like that is always instantly blocked and reported.

    Haven’t used Web of Trust though, will go and check that out. Thanks!


  2. dougpete Avatar

    Wherever there’s a good thing, there’s a spammer, Danny! Web of Trust is a terrific guide while browsing. Takes a bit to get used to the link ratings but it’s worth it.


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