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Twitter sues five spamming websites

Twitter is on the offensive against websites it accuses of bombarding users with spam.

Are you fed up of being bombarded with useless information on Twitter? Well, the microblogging site is looking out for you, as it's just announced it's suing five of the most prolific spammers.

"This morning, we filed suit in federal court in San Francisco against five of the most aggressive tool providers and spammers," reads a post on the Twitter blog. "With this suit, we're going straight to the source."

It also hopes this will discourage others from spamming.

Twitter now has 140 million active users writing over 340m tweets every day. This means more and more 'bots' have been springing up, sending automated tweets to generate hits or to try and sell products.

The defendants listed in the suit are: TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, TweetBuddy, James Lucero of and Garland E Harris of Both Facebook and Google have successfully sued spammers in recent years.

Twitter is also implementing new technical ways to fight spam, according to the post. An anti-spam measure launched earlier in the week "measures within Twitter to more aggressively suspend a new type of @ mention spam". The link shortener can also analyse whether a link leads to malware or malicious content. Twitter further encourages reporting and blocking of the spammers you come across. You can find out how right here.

A few of my friends have had their accounts hacked, and thankfully the spam messages are pretty easy to spot. But it's still scary, the idea of someone using your name and image to promote something you've not endorsed. That's exactly what happened to Jon Ronson. He met up with the spammers, and the results can be seen in the video below. It's frightening stuff, like something Franz Kafka would come up with. If you have a spare 12 minutes, I highly recommend you watch. It's part of his excellent Escape and Control series about people trying to manipulate the Internet. You can find out more here.

Have you seen much spam on Twitter? What else can be done to combat it? Let me know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.