The time has come to end the automatic direct messages on Twitter.
Yes, you’re welcome for the follow, but I’m not interested in your diet blog. You joined the Mafia, good for you but no thanks. Yes I know about Blip.fm, my friends won’t stop telling me about it. I’m sorry, who are you and why should I take your survey? Wow, you made that much $$$ by spamming Twitter? That is just AWESOME.
You get my point?
Here is what you can do:
- Send out a mighty tweet about the issue including the hashtag #endautodm
- Encourage friends who send you spammy DMs with a note back. Help them understand why this sucks. Or just block them.
- Use Seesmic desktop to report the worst offenders to @spam. Also go ahead and block them too. If any profile gets enough blocks it triggers spam filters at Twitter HQ.
- Be careful where you provide your Twitter login. Many services can tweet on your behalf without you knowing it. When in doubt do a Twitter search for the service’s name, look for any complaints or spammy activity.
Of course those tips can help, but they won’t fix the problem. Marketers will be marketers, users slow to understand their own noise levels.
As @jesse has pointed out before, the openness of Twitter’s API is usually to blame here. We need more granular controls to adjust the volume across social services like Twitter. Starting with a mute button for services that want to annoy us to death.