A fine line

Every morning, during my private reading time, if there’s something that I think might be of interest to others, I’ll share it to my Twitter account.  Then, as I’ve written before, a bunch of things happen to it so that I don’t lose it.

At the same time, at 5am, I have my daily blog post made available and a Twitter message is sent out to that effect.  Anyone who cares is invited to click and read it if they wish.  If they don’t, it’s just another in a long line of messages that goes flying by. 

Periodically, I get comments about my morning habits – I like to call it my private learning moments – that I set aside for myself before the dog realizes that the sun has risen and it’s time to explore the neighbourhood yet again. 

Yesterday morning was like any other morning.  Reading and learning and sharing with others.  Every now and again, someone who happens to be up at that hour will retweet the message because they like the concept or dislike it and share their reasons why.  I think it’s just the contemporary educational thing to do. 

As it happens, one of the messages was retweeted with a comment.  It was interesting that anyone could take issue with our Prime Minister so I stopped to view the account and what they were talking about.  In fact, they had shared the story and that was a good thing.  What wasn’t so good was the fact that there was another URL in the message.  It turns out that it was a link to an adult website.  Ooooh.  That’s not nice.

From there, I went to check out this account.  It wasn’t just me that was getting the special treatment.  Every message from the account was a retweet of a message that someone else had shared – there didn’t appear to be any reason other than they were all done within minutes of each other – and they all had that extra link added to the message.  The word “spamming” came to mind.  Then “phishing”, then “slimey”, then “scummy”, and then a few others that I won’t share.

You don’t have much recourse except to use the tools that Twitter provides so I muted the account, blocked the account, and then reported the account as one that’s posting spam.

As I write this post this morning, I checked and my account still has it blocked.  I took a peek and the account is still sending out messages.  There are all kinds (I can’t be bothered counting) that were all sent at the same time so I suspect that someone has written a script to do the deed for them.

I often wonder what people think about my posting habits.  While this particular account is trying to sell a service or advertising or whatever, they’re using the Twitter service.  Since the account hasn’t been deleted, I can only assume that its actions are deemed to be operating within the Twitter rules.  My account sells as well.  i like to think that I’m selling ideas and inspiration. 

When you have two takes on essentially the same thing, it begs the question, what’s the line between the two of them?  Maybe it’s my background, but I clearly (in my mind) can see the difference between the two.  Am I wrong though?  Maybe I’m just over thinking this.

Every now and again, you will see that an account has been suspended for violations of the rules.  For all our safety, you’ve got to agree that’s a good thing. 

It does beg the question though – just where is that line?  I guess I’m glad that I don’t have to draw it for the bigger community but with “block” and “mute”, I can do it for my little part of the world.

2 thoughts on “A fine line

  1. Doug, it’s funny you mention this, as I also blocked and reported an account yesterday that did the same thing to your message. It could have been the same account. I’m not sure. Regardless, when I saw that linked added, I was sure that the account would eventually be deleted. Isn’t it spam? Isn’t Twitter against spreading spam? I guess I’m wondering: what are the rules? If it’s not against the rules, then why can we report an account of spreading spam? I feel as though I’m missing something here. I’m curious to hear what others think.

    Aviva

    Like

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