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Twitter Spam Lawsuit Targets Spammers, Maybe Bad For Users Too

By Edward Tan, JD | Last updated on

Twitter spammers everywhere take notice: the company is out to get rid of you. The social media giant has filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco aimed at stemming spam on its site.

The Twitter spam lawsuit identifies six defendants as the primary culprits of the company's problems. TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, and TweetBuddy are some of the alleged spammers and spam tool providers that Twitter has identified, Mashable reports.

Twitter claims the defendants' actions have cost it over $1 million in anti-spam measures. The company alleges four causes of action, but not all of them may be fair to its users.

Twitter alleges the defendants breached its terms of service. In addition, the company also claims contract interference, fraud, and unfair/unlawful business practices.

By far, it seems like the company's strongest argument against the alleged spammers is its breach of contract claim. However, a ruling in Twitter's favor could be trouble for normal users.

Twitter's terms of service looks pretty solid when it comes to combating spam. The company goes quite in-depth in both its definition of spam and its consequences.

It essentially prohibits users from gaining new followers for commercial purposes through repetitious and deceptive Tweeting.

The company alleges the defendants' software sends out automated messages that amount to spam. They also state the defendants created multiple accounts in order to Tweet their ads more frequently, among other things.

On its face, this seems like a pretty serious abuse of Twitter. But at the same time, wasn't Twitter designed as a platform for self-promotion?

Certainly, there are distinct differences between a spam Twitterer and a normal Twitterer. However, the line can be a blurry one.

For instance, a company that employs Twitter to promote their products will send out Tweets solely for commercial purposes. Is that much different than what a spammer does with their own account?

But like many things in life, the answer is for a court to decide. For now, the Twitter spam lawsuit will march forward.

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