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Twitter Files Suit Against Spam Software Authors

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the viagra-spam-in-140-characters dept.

Spam 56

An anonymous reader writes, quoting Network World: "As with any platform that sees a meteoric rise in popularity, it's only a matter of time before spammers throw their hats in the ring and try and exploit the masses for financial gain and other sinister purposes. As the relatively new kid on the block, Twitter is still busying itself trying to tackle and ultimately prevent spammers from destroying the user experience. While Twitter's previous efforts centered exclusively on engineering-based solutions, the company today announced that they are also pursuing legal avenues to fend off spammers." From the Twitter blog: "With this suit, we’re going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter."

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Multiple Posts (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600161)

A lot of this could be solved if they just blocked the same message being tweeted more than two or three times at more than one person. More than one time I have opened up a profile to see that their last 100+ tweets were all the same message just tweeted at 100+ different people.

Re:Multiple Posts (2)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600327)

- one person tweeting links without text all the time
- one person tweeting urls with always the same domain

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600615)

what if that domain is youtube, or google, or facebook? i dont think basing of the domain will be appropriate. What i think would work - is looking at the ratio of how many (tweets at people whom do not follow you or whom you do not follow) / (tweets at people who do follow or follow you) - when this gets above a certain threshold, like I dunno 1000:1 then its a fair bet the account is a spammer

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#39605649)

it depends on your definition of spam.
for some people, an account which is always tweeting youtube-links to funny cat videos is cool, others would never follow this account, because its only spamming with cat videos. In my opinion, most twitter-accounts which only tweet links should not be on twitter, but should provide a rss-feed, which is more appropriate for this.

Re:Multiple Posts (2)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601631)

Your post advocates a

( ) technical ( ) legislative (X) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest Twitter addresses
( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate Twitter uses would be affected
(X) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
(X) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
(X) Users of Twitter will not put up with it
( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
(X) Many Twitter users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
(X) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for Twitter
( ) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all Twitter addresses
(X) Asshats
( ) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
( ) Huge existing software investment in Twitter
( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than Twitter to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by Twitter
( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
(X) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
(X) Extreme profitability of spam
(X) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
( ) Technically illiterate politicians
(X) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
(X) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(X) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
( ) Twitter headers should not be the subject of legislation
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
(X) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
( ) Sending Twitter should be free
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time Twitter addresses are cumbersome
( ) I don't want the government reading my Twitter
(X) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(X) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
house down!

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39603663)

There are plenty of valid reasons to do those two.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#39605633)

when you're a spammer*, yes.

* yeah, there are even non-automated accounts doing this. But i perceive them as spammers, too. Why would someone want to follow such an account?!

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39615669)

So that you don't have to visit a separate website constantly to see if your favorite tweeter-bloger updated their blog.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#39618919)

do you know RSS?

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39645067)

Yes. Do you know a way to have RSS beamed directly into your brain that I am not aware of? Even if you use RSS, you have to go somewhere else, or open up a separate application. If you're already using twitter, getting updates there is more convenient.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39607285)

Can't we just politely ask them to start using the #spam hashtag?

Re:Multiple Posts (3, Insightful)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600343)

Mod this up! Identical messages to hundreds (or thousands) of people in a few seconds are SPAM, and almost certainly violate the TOS. Seems like the technical challenge to blocking that sort of spam would be quite low.

Granted, it is hard to tell just what is "spam" on Twitter since, to those of us who aren't regular users of the site, almost all of it looks like unredeemable garbage. But I assume regular tweeters know the difference between what they "want to see" and what they don't.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600409)

We saw the same ignorance with email spam. Filter! Filter! The next step will be that the messages are no longer identical... No, I think Twitter is doing the right thing here. Instead of "filters" and other failures go after the spammers and their tools.

Re:Multiple Posts (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600477)

Going after the spammers, yes. Going after the toolmakers? I dunno... They're not breaking Twitters TOS, unlike the ones actually using the tools.
(Of course, if they create and use the tools, I say hit them hard)

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600657)

Even if they know they can't win, Twitter might just be looking to bury the tool creators with legal costs and take up their time with lengthy court proceedings. A large company with deep enough pockets can make life hell for someone who pisses them off enough.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600667)

but we haven't even solved the problem of email spam. filters don't work 100%. and most of it is up to the user to mark messages as spam, not the email providers to go after email campaign toolmakers. i agree with adjacent AC who says go after spammers. we threw a few of the email spammers in jail, now for the twitter spammers. but toolmakers? get real.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601005)

My point exactly. Filters don't work. Especially not naive filters like "if the message is identical". It takes a few minutes of programming to make messages no longer identical. Moreover, this would mark tweets of quotes suspicious (they are identical).

I also agree with going after the spammers. But I also agree with going after the tool makers. We're not talking here (I hope) about going after a knife maker because people get stabbed. We're talking here (again, I hope) going after people who make dedicated tools with the sole purpose of spamming services.

A few years ago I tried to report comment spam coming from Israel. It turned out that the software for spamming was made by a former(?) owner / associate of an Israeli ISP. The spam came via the ISP, and the software to spam was peddled on YouTube, and a % of the comments that were posted to my blog. Good luck going after the users of the software. The ISP ignores all reports (and probably can claim they never got any, since I didn't use the proper abuse address, or their form, etc). And the coder of the software gets away as well, and goes on making money by selling to suckers.

In my experience (which might be very wrong) a lot of spam comes from suckers who hired services / paid for software and are as stupid as people actually buying spamvertized products. And the people who seem to keep getting away are the infrastructure providers (ISPs: we didn't receive your complains, or let us whitelist you) and the people who provide the software.

In short: I think Twitter has a plan, a good one.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601187)

well, email campaign tools are meant to send mass emails out to people who have subscribed to lists. they can be abused, or not. in essence, twitter itself is a spam tool. need a "mark as spam" solution for twitter? http://www.ehow.com/how_4557090_remove-followers-twitter.html [ehow.com] engineering solution ftw

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601587)

email campain tools = the knife I mentioned earlier on.

"mark as spam".... yeah, visit Digg and YouTube to see how well that works.

What I really don't get is that we've seen all those "solutions" for decades in the real world: after many attempts at "easy" solutions, the thing that works bothers a lot of normal people (like humps in roads to slow down drivers). Maybe because back then people could get away with so much makes this behaviour "acceptable" online as well?

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39602035)

twitter works more like email than digg or youtube (if you don't like what you see on digg or youtube you can just leave). if you subscribe to an email list and no longer like it, you can remove them from your address book and click "mark as spam." likewise on twitter you can remove followers. i agree that any "mark as spam" feature doesn't work 100%, just like filters don't. it's basically a manual filter, isn't it?

the only real solutions are diligence or abstinence. twitter is just tired of being diligent and abstaining isn't an option if they want to exist at all. i say it's the twitter users who need to be diligent or abstain. i abstain, save for my dev testing account. outside in the real world, we deal with this in the form of junk mail but it's much more difficult to get off the mailing lists. you can't just make your address not exist, and hiding it is not very straightforward. most residential addresses have been around for decades. this outside world scenario, i think, is what this behavior "acceptable." you can throw email spammers in jail, but not junk mail senders. or idk can you? i could be wrong about that.

Re:Multiple Posts (2)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601393)

Filters are only as unintelligent as the people who program them.

For spam on twitter to get results, it would seem to require meeting a couple criteria:

1) Unless the person you want to spam is following you, it has to be directed @somebody so it will show up in their mentions, or the target of the tweet will never actually see it.
2) An actionable link for the user to click-on once they see the tweet.

So, there are literally billions of messages sent on Twitter every day. An enormous percentage of them do not include an "@", which means you can almost certainly discount that tweet as spam. So the "sameness" thing really comes down to the URL... So how hard would it be to write a rule that says:

"If person XYZ posts more than XYZ tweets @somebody in XYZ period of time and all of the tweets lead to the exact-same (or less than 10% different) URL, its likely spam."

Answer: It wouldn't be that hard at all. And is 100% necessary, as the decade-plus-long failure of various "sue spammers" campaigns can attest to.

Yes, by all means sue the bastards. But don't expect the judge to solve the whole problem in perpetuity throughout the universe--instead use the judge to extract a penalty from the spammers after the fact.

In other words, it isn't "either/or" but "both" that you require for an effective solution.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601531)

If person XYZ posts

Hundreds, thousands of accounts, using proxies/botnet.

(or less than 10% different) URL

short URLs

Filters are only as unintelligent as the people who program them.

yes, that's it!

Re:Multiple Posts (2)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601691)

If person XYZ posts

Hundreds, thousands of accounts, using proxies/botnet.

(or less than 10% different) URL

short URLs

Filters are only as unintelligent as the people who program them.

yes, that's it!

...Except that Twitter can see all of the posts simultaneously, even though you can't, so posting from multiple accounts isn't an automatically effective dodge.

You could also make the threshold 3-5% or any arbitrary number...

I notice you have no response to the real thrust of my post, which is, neither solution by itself solves anything.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39602021)

...Except that Twitter can see all of the posts simultaneously, even though you can't, so posting from multiple accounts isn't an automatically effective dodge.

And how are you going to distinguish between thousands of people posting something like "The iPhone 5 someurl" and a spammer doing the same? The thing is, you need to keep adding layers and layers of complexity and learn to live with false positives, and hence disgruntled people.

You could also make the threshold 3-5% or any arbitrary number...

Yes, and add more and "better" rules, ad nauseum. And CAPTCHAs and more and more hoops.

neither solution by itself solves anything.

I didn't reply to this, since it's obvious. There isn't a 100% working solution. But IMO filters are just the same as looking the other way when people litter. Or put a high fence around the litter, to filter it out.

I've been reporting spam for nearly 20 years and my experience is that most people just don't care. On one hand I can understand it. To an ISP it's a choice between an "upset geek" and a paying customer. And the more people filter, the less complaints they get. And on top of that some ISPs don't accept abuse@ spam reports any more: you have to use a form. Or put a spam filter on abuse@ (really).

I am sure that going after some of the bigger assholes will not make spam disappear. But it will stop people like "Cohen" from flaunting their services openly on YouTube, Linked-In, etc.

A few years back I got comment spam for a comment spamming tool (from aforementioned Cohen) video on YouTube. It took quite an effort to get that video taken down (had to contact someone inside Google directly). And that's how it is.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601825)

Filters are only as unintelligent as the people who program them.

yes, that's it!

And also, before I forget: the corollary of "filters are only as unintelligent as the people who program them" is that "when smart people program those filters, they're very effective."

We've been suing spammers for 14 years, and have made at best a tiny dent in the problem. Once we got to advanced filtering that actually worked pretty well? At that point, having an effectively run filter became very... well, effective, for lack of a better label.

You do the math... I mean, you won't, since you've obviously already staked out a position that, no matter how ineffective or illogical it is shown to be, you will defend until you get bored. But everybody who isn't you, feel free to do the math and recognize the bullshit: Just suing spammers doesn't do a fucking thing. If it did, the "CAN-SPAM Act" would've solved all of our problems, all by itself, almost overnight.

It didn't.

What made email usable? SPAM filtering in combination with suing the biggest spammers into bankruptcy. Slowly but surely, email got better and better.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39602091)

And also, before I forget: the corollary of "filters are only as unintelligent as the people who program them" is that "when smart people program those filters, they're very effective."

My experience is that even very smart people come up with naive rules that seem to work OK but have from the start a lot of false positives and shortly after many false negatives. Even learning systems like SpamAssassin keep suffering from this (at least in my experience, maybe my fault). And this doesn't surprise me: since an algorithm that can learn to distinguish ham from spam can also be used to create spam that aforementioned system will consider ham...

To paraphrase: we have n spam filter rules that almost work. Let's add one more. And now we have n+1 spam filter rules that almost work.

Yes, spam filters are getting better. But spam is still big business. And email is not slowly getting better and better. No, it's slowly getting less and less worse. But too slow. Back in the 90s I complained about a single spam message a day. Now I am happy if I get less than 10 per account, so in my book we are not keeping up, at all. And I don't want to think about the number of spam that daily hammers my server, eating resources I am paying for.

Re:Multiple Posts (2)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601819)

but we haven't even solved the problem of email spam

That's a much harder problem. There are all kinds of things a centralized service like Twitter could have done, which can't be (realistically) applied to email.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601283)

Hey, how many "lets sue all the spammers into bankruptcy" campaigns have there been? When will those lawsuits lead to an end to spam? The first one I recall was in 1998..,

As of today, let's call it 14 years and counting suing spammers, and yet a cursory look at my spam folder (in any of my email accounts--even the unpublished/never-given-out-to-anybody-used-for-personal-archival-purposes one) shows it to be STUFFED with junk mail.

I'm not arguing against suing, merely pointing out that suing the toolmakers that they know about won't by itself stop spammers.

For example, what about a lawsuit stops them from quietly developing twitter spam tools and spreading them around the Internet on various not-obvious-who-owns-them servers, and then regularly moving their toolkits from place to place to make IP banning ineffective? Absolutely nothing whatsoever. Likely, the "best" spammers were on this route long before Twitter started suing people, which means we're still going to need filtering, with or without lawsuits.

Also, just because the attacker might shift tactics doesn't mean you shouldn't try to defeat his current tactic... Plus, you could write the rules intelligently so that just a cursory alteration of the non-URL portion of the tweet wouldn't let the message pass as "spam." For example, it's really hard to imagine that 10,000 tweets to some random landing page on bit.ly coming in over the course of a few seconds from the same account is anything but spam. If you really wanted to get fancy, you could include a circuit-breaker such as "Can't tweet the same link @ more people than you have Twitter followers in xyz period of time."

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601845)

Plus, you could write the rules intelligently so that just a cursory alteration of the non-URL portion of the tweet wouldn't let the message pass as "spam."

How many false positives would this give?

For example, it's really hard to imagine that 10,000 tweets to some random landing page on bit.ly coming in over the course of a few seconds from the same account is anything but spam.

And coming from 10,000 accounts? You can outsource twitter account creation and use a bot net.

Likely, the "best" spammers were on this route long before

Exactly. "Intelligent rules" have been in use for a long time for email (e.g. SpamAssassin) but email spam still happens, as do false positives.

No, I wouldn't mind if Twitter went after asshats like "Daniel Cohen"

Re:Multiple Posts (3, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600655)

It's the same as the rest of the internet really. Quick explanation for those who don't use it:

You don't see "all the tweets" - that's impossible, both in terms of computers and eyeball 1.0. You pick ("follow") the people you want to hear from, and if anybody puts your name in a tweet you see that too, regardless of whether you follow them. You also see tweets that people you follow have "retweeted".

Therefore, the only real route from the spammer to you is one of the following:
  • You follow the spammer. (Why?!)
  • Someone you follow retweets the spammer (so you unfollow them if they persist)
  • The spammer has included your name in a tweet.

This last one is how it normally works - Twitter have, by design, included a good and easy to use API. It's led to a lot of innovative things, and makes integration very easy. It also makes automating "@PersonX" spam very easy.

It's also very easy to click "report spam", which blocks the account immediately and may well lead to it being deleted. To be honest, the signal/spam ratio on Twitter is fairly low in my experience, and spam can be spotted in the same way as normal - links without much content, an attractive lady in the picture, and a name like "iLovePorn28483".

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600959)

Tweet something containing "iPad", "iPhone", etc. Wait about ten seconds. Check your @replies. It's definitely a real problem.

Re:Multiple Posts (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39601097)

OK, just tried it (a mention of an iPad in an otherwise normal tweet):

10s - Nothing
1min - Nothing
2min - Nothing
5min - Nothing

It could be that I'm quite active in blocking spam, and Twitter has an algorithm that's picked up on that and is filtering. I'm sure I'll get one or two eventually. I wouldn't like to see bots blocked entirely, I've actively enjoyed one which picks up on the word "Cripes" (a Dangermouse quoter for the UK cognoscenti).

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39603187)

Several hours later: 1 link to an Amazon page from a mate who worked out what I was up to and is taking the piss.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600927)

Granted, it is hard to tell just what is "spam" on Twitter since, to those of us who aren't regular users of the site, almost all of it looks like irredeemable garbage.

No, it isn't hard to tell. You were on the right track there, but decided to be too nice. Anything on Twitter is by definition SPAM.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

stevenfuzz (2510476) | more than 2 years ago | (#39602527)

If you think dealing with spammers and spam is easy, you are dead wrong. I work for a company that has to deal with spam all the time. When a spammer is rotating their IP address, account, dynamically changing post increments, and using natural text in the spam it's much harder to deal with (if not impossible).

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600385)

I think i've only seen one profile that at least /attempted/ to hide the fact they were spamming.
It collected random tweets throughout the public timeline and filled 4 or 5 of them between each spam @reply link.
Though, they were still sending out maybe 1000 messages an hour, so that shouldn't be too hard to detect.

Re:Multiple Posts (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600697)

It's hard to detect whether this is being done by automated spamming tools or humans. We have a dashboard at our office that streams mentions of our company on twitter, and we'll often see spurts of a human spamming the link to their donation campaign at celebrities asking for handouts.

To be fair, you may want to solve that problem as well, but it sounds like Twitter is just trying to silence the bots.

Go get 'em (2)

OldGunner (2576825) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600197)

I'm not much of a Twitter user, but even an old fart such as myself can see that spammers destroy everything in their path. Good luck to Twitter and thanks for having a big enough pair to go after these Twits.

Re:Go get 'em (1, Offtopic)

SupportLine (2612189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600261)

I AM NOW OFFERING LEGAL SERVICES TO EVERYONE INTERESTED. I am not an authorized lawyer, but I am a really cool guy. CONTACT ME.

Re:Go get 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600433)

Cheap nanoparticle-delivered viagra [slashdot.org] !

Re:Go get 'em (3, Insightful)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600299)

Spammers make money marketing products of others. Why is it that those who stand to gain are not also brought to a nuetral third party for judgement?

Re:Go get 'em (1)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600431)

Look up "Joe Job".

Re:Go get 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600467)

Spammers make money marketing products of others. Why is it that those who stand to gain are not also brought to a nuetral third party for judgement?

Because many of those who stand to gain aren't doing anything illegal.

As much as I hate spammers, convicting someone just because I feel like it is bad policy.

IE, write a real anti-spam law, not crap like CAN-SPAM.

Re:Go get 'em (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609627)

So that works if I create a bank and handle accounts for Drug Dealers, Child Molesters, Socialpaths? The legal staff for World Savings could have used your help, before they paid a $600 million dollar federal fine; but hey, they didn't admit guilt?

Re:Go get 'em (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600493)

Because it's very hard to prove they hired them.

Re:Go get 'em (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39609655)

I don't buy it, when faceless corporations profit from the acts of others, then they to, are to blame.

So if crime is hard, law enforcement won't do it? How about the words of Deep Thoat? That guarentees that all parties involved are brought to justice?

And while we're on the topic of holding the worthless accountable, when are we going to see a corporation arrested?

What a tweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600325)

What a tweet!

whack-a-mole (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600505)

They will not win this game. As long as the opportunity to make more money than invested exists, there will be spammers taking advantage of your system. Stopping one just makes a market opening for another. Trying to stop supply does nothing to stop demand, it just tends to make it more lucrative for new suppliers to get into the game when the reward for the demand goes up when the supply starts to shrink. Basic economics at work here.

The only long-term solution is one of a technical nature, that makes spam abuse on your system so much less productive that there's lower hanging fruit elsewhere. You must reduce the spammers' financial incentive to do their business at your expense.

Locks are more effective against theft than laws. It's just that basic.

Since when is financial gain a sinister purpose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600589)

Since when is financial gain a sinister purpose?

Re:Since when is financial gain a sinister purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600763)

since spamming became illegal? Robbing a bank could be considered financial gain too.

Mixed signals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600799)

If this were congress going after wireshark or netcat, everyone would be up in arms; but with twitter going after spammer tools, suddenly everyone is okay with this?

twitter suing spammers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600807)

Twitter itself is just a big spamhouse. Is there anything on there of any intellectual value?

to twitter: (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#39600955)

Your marketing practices appear in line with our own marketing practices; our policies differ very little.
why dont we meet in the middle?

regards, spammers.

P.S. we're can be just as committed to foreign uprisings in the interests of [insert country here] as you are, just let us know :)

@lastlonger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39600985)

#biggerpenis

I'm confused (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39602271)

Are they on their way to making certain software illegal? I don't understand how you can "sue a tool maker".

Great idea twitter! (1)

stevenfuzz (2510476) | more than 2 years ago | (#39602579)

Sue PHP and CRON.
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