How Johng77536 Gamed Twitter

Techcrunch has an interesting post up right now about user Twitter Johng77536. Notice his stats here on the right, see anything strange? For one the account is only a few hours old (or at least just started posting) and he already has over 7000 followers. He is also not following anyone in return. So this is different than your classic Twitter Spam were a user follows thousands in the hopes of a few return followers. So how did he do it? Here are two scenarios to think about.

Just like the Sammy MySpace worm he simply may have some rogue code/script floating around out there. Getting a page to go viral with the Twitter community isn’t the most difficult thing. Perhaps this page has been invoked by all these followers and created the follow in the background, unannounced to the victim.

Scenario number two is more likely. Did you know some Twitter power users (your Jcals, Scobles, Loics etc) are given the option to auto follow anyone who follows them? Test it out, create a new Twitter account and follow Jason and Loic. You’ll notice they instantly return the follow. They may of figured out how to create this behavior for other users as well. All they would need to do is initiate the follow, get the return follow and then unfollow for the final step. They may even be able to trigger this action by bypassing the initial follow all together. In a sense creating followers without a paper trail (email notifications).

What are your thoughts?

Found a blog dedicated to Twitter Spam out there, check it out.

Sean Percival

Sean Percival is an American author, investor and entrepreneur.