Mrs Bun: Have you got anything without SPAM?
Waitress: Well, there’s SPAM, egg, sausage, and SPAM; that’s not got much SPAM in it.
Mrs Bun: I don’t want any SPAM!
Mr Bun: Why can’t she have egg, bacon, SPAM, and sausage?
Mrs Bun: That’s got SPAM in it!
Mr Bun: Hasn’t got as much SPAM in it as SPAM, egg, sausage, and SPAM, has it?
Vikings: [singing] SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM… Lovely SPAM! Wonderful SPAM!
It’s ridiculous really.
In January 2010 alone, I managed to collect (deep breath): half a dozen porn spammers on Twitter, an unsolicited email offer of legal representation on the off-chance I might have been unfortunate enough to have suffered an accident that was Not My Fault, two sets of identical offers from two different VW dealerships in California (I live in London. And I don’t drive), a $50 voucher for the most dubious-sounding online casino possibly ever, at least three angling, spammy ‘You look so attractive in your profile picture – can we be fwends’ messages from complete strangers on various social networks (despite the fact that my profile picture isn’t even a figurative image, let alone a picture of me!), and a whole selection of tweeters and woofers who are all far too vocal in their promises to increase my follower count, help me lose weight, make me into a best-selling author, increase my understanding of social media or turn me into a successful businesswoman in a week. Yawn.
Oh, and there was also the latest in a long(ish) line of serial spam commenters who lurked around on here for about ten days and quite seriously annoyed me – if you blog, I am sure you know the type; his posts almost – almost – looked genuine at first glance but, on further investigation, quite clearly weren’t.
That’s just one month’s worth – and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a fair few.
I’m pretty careful too; I don’t bank online, neither do I use eBay or any other form of internet shopping. That does limit the amount of rubbish in my email inbox. But, like everyone, I still get spam. And, like everyone, it annoys the fuck out of me.
The worst place for it, without a doubt, is Twitter. Most of the time I love Twitter. I was resistant for a long while, but once I got on there I was hooked. I’m one of those sad people who tweets from their mobile phone when they are out and about somewhere interesting, and Twitter has also been very handy in getting the word out about Another Kind Of Mind to many of my readers (cheers guys!).
But at the moment, Twitter is awash with dubious, spammy accounts which don’t seem to ever go away, even if you report them to Twitter’s official @spam account. Recently, for me, anyway, it seems that the spambots are reproducing faster than Twitter can get rid of them, and I’m getting very bored of checking my followers list for new additions only to find that instead of interesting new people who are actually real, I’m getting a steady stream of mechanised, dubious, spammy crap.
I’m bored of the spammers who constantly auto-follow and unfollow me, bored of being auto-followed on the strength of random, completely irrelevent keyword searches, bored of being followed by accounts with no name, no tweets, no photo and no bio – but who have followed thousands of people, bored of being offered “naughty photos” if I “register with this [phishing] site”, bored of being told I can have “thousands of followers by this time tomorrow”, bored of so-called business opportunities that should really be filed under ‘if it looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is’ category.
It’s obviously worth the spammers’ while to do all this (and usually from multiple accounts too) – because there are clearly enough idiots out there who are suckered in by these methods or else spam wouldn’t exist. I follow and am followed by a great bunch of real, interesting, creative human beings on Twitter, but I’m getting really annoyed with the levels of spam at the moment. Like the Pythons’ Mrs Bun, I don’t want any spam, and this is just getting silly.
Sort it out, Twitter!
And who did let those Vikings in here anyway?