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Have The Gremlins Invaded Twitter?

I’m not what you would call an avid Twitter fan, but I do use it occasionally. The one thing that I don’t like about Twitter is the nonsensical Tweets left by a lot of users. This is the main reason why I am very particular about those I choose to follow. I also make it a habit of checking to make sure that those I am following are also returning the favor.

Lately I’ve noticed a very strange abnormality, and I will go into that shortly. I normally use Friend Or Follow to keep track of those who decide to stop following me, but I decided to use another service just to make sure that the results were the same. That other service, Tweepular, is a bit slower but more entertaining. :smile1_ee:

Anyway, the abnormality I was noticing was that I was following people I had never heard of? By this I mean that I never chose to follow them, and if this is the case how is it possible that I’m following them against my wishes? Is this a scam of sorts that someone has concocted to boost up their follower numbers? If so, it’s bullshit and now that I know I will be keeping tabs on them and deleting them on a more regular basis.

So, has anyone else noticed this, or am I just losing the plot?

EDIT: Sheryl Loch, one of my favorite bloggers put me onto this post she did at the Internet Marketers Guild, of which I am a member. It’s about finding who has access to your Twitter Account, and how to divest them of this control.

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 48 Comments

  1. I had the exact same thing happen to me before suspending my account. I made sure I went through the list, and deleted off users I didn’t know. I suspended my account, because I remember signing up to one of those sites and than every so often I would get an automatic tweet appear on my account, asking others to follow me. I did not know how to deactivate it after emailing the website directly, so I decided to suspend my Twitter account. It is interesting as I was receiving a lot of followers with the same things in common. They would either write similiar or be into the same hobbies i.e. hip/hop music. This is one of the most popular, be into the same music.

    Are you still deleting people you don’t know off your list?
    .-= Ana Goncalves´s last blog ..Spirit of Womankind =-.

    1. Sure am Ana, and what makes it really creepy is that unlike you I didn’t sign up to any of ‘those sites’, and they weren’t followers as they were not following me.

      1. Did you have to delete quite a lot of people? And are you still capturing them?

        That is interesting, but at the same time not surprising. Do you think it might have something to do with the services, that you signed up for? It seems like there is a lot of this going on at the moment, on both spectrums of the field.

        Perhaps that is a Twitter flaw.

        Have you thought about reporting this to Twitter?

        1. Not all that many Ana, but the thing is that I shouldn’t have to delete any at all as no-one should be able to invade my account.

          The thing is that I don’t recall signing up for any services. Oh well, I reckon I will just have to be more careful in future.

          1. From your experience, it shows that even being careful does not stop leakages from happening, and that the Internet isn’t really a safe place to be. Have you reported this to Twitter? Perhaps they can help.
            .-= Ana´s last blog ..Spirit of Womankind =-.

          2. Actually Ana, I haven’t and it’s not much more than an annoyance, and if you look on the bright side, it made for a good post :wink_ee:

  2. I have the same feelings with regard to twitter. I have an account alright, but am not so fanatical about it. I have not noticed the gremlin effect because I was not really on the look out for it. I’ll check it out soon if I have time to spare later. But if that’s really happening, I think it’s time to leave Twitter altogether. (Hey, I have good moments with twitter though, like when my traffic spiked because some good fellows twitted me.) When is GWave’s final release? I would drop twitter like a hot potato as soon as GWave comes.
    .-= James M.´s last blog ..Long Overdue Blog Facelift =-.

  3. This is the first I’ve heard of Gwave. I reckon that sounds like something I should be looking in to. Thanks James.

  4. I had the same thing happen with twitter, once your involved in any list it’s safe to say your going to get a slew of people you didn’t choose to follow but are some how following.

    I have a bunch of people right now that I am following and need to weed out that just type random characters, it pisses me off because I actually interact with the people I follow on twitter as well as the people that follow me.
    .-= Extreme John@Extreme John Blogs and Business´s last blog ..An email to Mark Maconi Homes =-.

  5. hmm will need to keep any eye out; I haven’t noticed it on mine though it is odd indeed.
    .-= Donace´s last blog ..Mafia Wars Collections and Items =-.

    1. Let us know if you find anything Donace. Personally I reckon it’s a silent epidemic that very few know about.

  6. I also only have been checking on my Twitter account and stats about twice per week. I got turned off by all the “build a list of one million followers” spammers. It’s also unnecessarily flooded my email account with Twitter related emails. Anyway, I wish there was a way to group followers and people I follow so I could just focus in on the people whose Tweets I’m actually interested in.
    .-= Blane´s last blog ..Cheap At Home Pen Teeth Whitening System That Really Works Offers Free Trial =-.

    1. Blane,
      You need to use Tweetdeck.
      That way you can set up Groups of the people you follow & also filter out certain words when you want a quick search of Tweets.

      I would never use Twitter if I had to go to the web!
      .-= Sheryl Loch´s last blog ..2 Great Blog Contest =-.

    2. You listen to Sheryl Blane because she knows what she’s talking about, that and the fact that she’ll probably feed you to the sharks if you don’t. :devil_tb: :lol_tb:

  7. Well I thought it was me going crazy – every morning when I get up I check and it seems that I am following 10 more people than I was the night before! Lately I have been getting lots of stock traders – they do come in groups of lots of people with the same interest. A month ago I was attracting psychics. I guess they knew I’d be nice to ’em.
    .-= Christie@miscbytes´s last blog ..How to start a website =-.

    1. Now, you know that they are just trying to take advantage of a Southern belle Christie, so don’t you go taking note of their sass hun, you just hit that old delete button and give those jerks the boot. :wink_ee:

      1. :D Yes, my Southern mama may have raised me to be nice to everyone, but she didn’t know about Twitter spammers and other annoyances. Thanks Sire!
        .-= Christie´s last blog ..Thesis Theme discount – some things to watch out for! =-.

  8. I just checked my twitter account and went through each name and I did follow each of them. My list is not very big yet, so it is easy to track.
    .-= Doug Dillard´s last blog ..Beta Testing New Traffic Monetization Program =-.

    1. Keep any eye on it Doug, you never know when these Gremlins will strike.

  9. i’ve been getting the same. it must be them twitter tools that lets you add loads of people. they search via keyword and get mass adds + then you just get spammed with product links etc.
    .-= steven´s last blog ..Piano Lessons Online Review – Don’t Get Scammed =-.

    1. If not that steven it would be some other tool that you gave permission to access your Twitter account. Thanks for coming by mate.

  10. Sometimes it is who you Allow to have access to your accounts.
    Sire, I tweeted a link @you to a post on the forum that tells how to check.

    That is not always the case but, I would say checking this would be a good 1st start. They have also had a few new twitter apps that were not secure so, if you left a name & password, they have possibly been ‘stolen’.

    I love my Twitter.
    I get so many post ideas from people there.
    I also figure out allot about who is looking for what.
    I follow very few people because I use the search feature more than I read many tweets. I am very picky. ;)
    .-= Sheryl Loch´s last blog ..Trademark Search =-.

  11. I have no idea about such invasion. Just did a quick check with friendorfollow and did find a few suspicious accounts, but it could be me who added them a long while ago, can’t be entirely sure. ^^ Anyhow, thanks for the heads up, I did a brief cleaning with the application. Need to keep this in mind from time to time.

    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..How Seriously Do You Take Blog Comments? =-.

    1. No worries Ching Ya, at least now you know what to keep an eye out for.

  12. I follow everyone Sire. I don’t think that Twitter is a such a great marketing tool. I’m in for the volume. The more followers I have, the bigger the probability I will get some traffic out of them. Call met Twitter evil lol.
    .-= Asswass@Best Polls for Blogs´s last blog ..This Week’s Top WOP: Miss Universe 2.009 Stefania Fernandez =-.

  13. I’ve only had that happen to me one time. It was awful- it was actually a porn spam account that had an awful picture on it – (that i won’t describe here).
    They had found a way to do this to hundreds of accounts. I reported it to @spam along with several other hundreds of twitter users and they suspended the spammer’s account 5 hours later.
    Other than that, it hasn’t happened to me and I sure hope it doesn’t happen to you anymore.

    All the best,
    .-= Eren@ homemaking´s last blog ..Name that candy bar dirty diaper shower game =-.

    1. Did you ever find out how they managed to do what they did Eren?

  14. Twitter:
    I’ve never had it happen to me, Sire, but then again, I’m very selective in who I add. Well, I at least check every person out before I’ll add them to my mix. I’m also wary of lots of sites that say they’re Twitter related; any of them that asks for my password, I’m outta there.
    .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Demand Studios =-.

    1. That’s the whole point of the post Mitch, I did not add them, they mysteriously appeared all on their own.

      1. Twitter:
        But you’ve signed onto some sites I haven’t, Sire, so who’s to say that maybe one of those sites didn’t add those people to your account?
        .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Poker Tournament, The Follow Up =-.

        1. Again,that’s what I am trying to get across, whoever they are they do not have my permission to add anybody to my account and therefore should not be doing so.

          1. Twitter:
            I know what you’re saying, Sire. What I’m saying is that some of those sites take it as their right to do so because you, or whomever, has signed up with them. It may not be right, but I’ve seen it happen in other situations.
            .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Dropped Guru =-.

  15. Good morning, Sire.

    I haven’t been aware of any of the gremlins you mentioned, but I may not have been paying very close attention.

    I’ve been planning to unfollow quite a few people I previously followed, but I haven’t seen anyone who was mysteriously added without my knowledge. I’ll keep a lookout for them.

    When someone follows me, I go to their profile and check out their most recent tweets. I probably follow about half the people who follow me and later I delete some of them, if they don’t live up to the expectations I had when I initially followed them.

    Thanks for the links to the tools. I’ll check them out in a couple of days when my to-do list lets me. ;)

    Act on your dream!


    1. No worries John about the links, helping people is one of the many positives of being a blogger. Thanks for dropping by mate.

  16. Hi Sire. Yeah, I have experienced that as well. Also, I have noticed that in some cases, I unfollowed someone and it just kept coming back all over again (not even blocking it will work). In my case, I have been using Twitter for a number of reasons and I have an awful lot of followers as well as people I am following. To better interact with those that really interest me, I have decided to use Group functionality on both Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, clients I use. That way, I only get to see what I tag as my VIP’s and do not even care what happens on my regular stream. Maybe once in a while I will search for some things in particular, but I do not grow a headache figuring out the numbers.

    BTW, I did use once Tweepular but I have found buzzom’s Twitin much better. Check it out if you want.
    .-= DiTesco @iblogzone´s last blog ..Get Rich Very Very Fast? =-.

    1. Thanks Ditesco for taking the time to comment. I like you find Tweetdeck to be a blessing and have a group of ‘VIP’s’ that I keep track of.

      I will certainly have a look at Twiten. Thanks for the recommendation.
      .-= Sire´s last blog ..Blog Me This You Blogging Fools =-.

  17. That’s utterly bizarre, I’ll have to check what’s happening on my account too . Weird, thanks for the headsup.
    .-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..Give BACK to Your Affiliates – Covert Angel Time =-.

    1. No worries Barbara, glad to be of help.

  18. Once the follower situation has already gotten out of hand with hundreds of spammers to filter through, does Tweetdeck or any other tool let you do group deletions based on keyword? This would save me a massive amount of time from having to tackle this filtering process rather than dealing with it one spammer account at a time. Thanks George.

    1. Tweetdeck doesn’t actually allow you delete ant comments of your Twitter account on the web, but with TweetDeck there is no longer any need to log onto that account any more. Seriously, you should give it a go.

  19. What I dont like about Twitter is checking out how someone’s tweet is being replied to. Is writing @[username] the only way ?? Thats quite a lot of work and you can’t check separate tweets. Probably just beginner problems, but I just can’t figure it out.

    1. As far as I know that’s it. What I can’t get my head around is how to follow a conversation.

    2. I know that other sites have tried to do threaded tweets but, I don’t remember any of them actually ever working.

      The guy that created Delicious has just started working on a site to thread twitter conversations. <- mind you right now the site is very plain & not what you would get excited about but, he is working on it.

      I bet since he does have it grabbing threads there will be other app developers pounce on this. Soon we may have more threaded tweets than you want.
      .-= Sheryl Loch´s last blog ..Get More Backlinks Indexed Faster =-.

      1. Cool, I’m always looking for more that I can handle :devil_tb:

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