Shutting down spammers

Twitter continues to grow at a record pace — we now have 140 million active users and more than 340 million Tweets each day. As our reach expands, we become a more attractive target for spammers. While spam is a small fraction of the incredible content you can find on Twitter, we know just how distracting it can be.

We have previously discussed the ways we deal with spam on Twitter. Our engineers continue to combat spammers’ efforts to circumvent our safeguards, and today we’re adding another weapon to our arsenal: the law.

One challenge in battling spam is bad actors who build tools designed to distribute spam on Twitter (and the web) by making it easier for other spammers to engage in this annoying and potentially malicious activity.

This morning, we filed suit in federal court in San Francisco against 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.

While this is an important step, our efforts to combat spam don’t stop here. Our engineering team continues to implement robust technical solutions that help us proactively reduce spam. For example, earlier this week, our engineers launched new anti-spam measures within Twitter to more aggressively suspend a new type of @ mention spam. Additionally, we now use our link shortener (t.co) to analyze whether a tweeted link leads to malware or malicious content. This helps us prevent users from visiting malicious links and helps us shut down hundreds of thousands of abusive accounts. You can help out, too, by reporting and blocking spammers you encounter on Twitter.

We are committed to fighting spam on all fronts, by continuing to grow our anti-spam team and using every tool at our disposal to shut down spammers. Today marks an important step forward.