Twitter filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco today against five “bad actors” that it says provide tools that are designed to spread spam across Twitter.
The five defendants are a mix of companies and individuals: TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, TweetBuddy, James Lucero of justinlover.info and Garland Harris of troption.com.
In a blog post announcing the lawsuit, Twitter calls this group “five of the most aggressive tool providers and spammers.”
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.
The websites of the five defendants reveal what kind of activity Twitter is going after. TweetAdder, for example, bills itself as a “complete Twitter automation” software that lets users “control multiple Twitter profiles from one screen” with ways to automatically follow other users and “automatically generate multiple unique tweets on the same topic.”
TweetBuddy’s website brags that its software doesn’t “look like a bot to twitter they don’t like that [sic].”
Interestingly, the TweetAttacks home page says “Sorry but this software is no longer available.”
Not Just Legal Action
Beyond today’s lawsuit, Twitter says its engineers also “launched new anti-spam measures within Twitter to more aggressively suspend a new type of @mention spam” earlier this week.
Earlier this year, Twitter acquired Dasient, a web security company, to help bolster Twitter’s anti-spam and anti-fraud efforts.
There were reports early this year that spam accounts for about 1.5 percent of all tweets.