Hater, not a phisher

Who doesn’t like to get new followers on Twitter?  I’d like to think that it means that you’ve done something interesting or worthwhile and the follower wants more.  After all, isn’t that how it works?

It doesn’t seem so lately, at least for me.

I like to know when I get a new follower.  If I have time, I’ll check them out and, if they’re interesting, will follow them back.  It’s also my way of spotting a new Ontario Educator so that I can add them to one of my lists.  Or, I can just ignore them.  

In Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, you can open a list to follow your new followers.  That quickly lets you spot these folks 

Not everyone that follows you is nice though.  You can generally spot them a mile away.  They exist to promote themselves or their products.  

Generally, my response is “No thanks”.  If I want to buy your product, I’ll go looking for it.  Chances are I’ll find it for a better price somewhere else.

Lately, there’s been sort of a hybrid scum that’s been following me.  

I know this is heavily censored but I don’t want to promote this in any way, shape, or form.

This is a “slightly” modified version of the profile as shown by Hootsuite.  If I was to click the timeline icon, the account does indeed share some things that I might find interesting from someone else.  In another time, I might indeed follow them back.

However, look at the Bio.  

Things used to be so much easier before Twitter started converting links to its own t.co links.  Now, you need to click through in order to get to the original shared site.  Who knows what sits there waiting for you?  Upon further inspection, you’ll see that they’ve elected to use a different sort of collection of characters in the Bio.  I’m guessing it’s to bypass any detector that would normally flag the account.

What can you do?

Well, first, don’t follow their link.  Just like the scams that you see show up regularly in email, you haven’t any idea where you’re going or what might land in your browser.

Secondly, block the account.  They won’t be able to see you any more and, more importantly, won’t be able to see your own list of followers and who you are following.  

Thirdly, you can report them to Twitter.  I don’t know how quickly or seriously Twitter is about these reports.  I know that it makes me feel good though.

Fourthly, get your followers the old fashioned way.  Be interesting.

And, fifthly, if you have $59 to burn, send it to me instead.

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