Bill Schmalfeldt has yet another blog called Team Schmalfeldt. (No, I won’t link to it.) How do I know this? The Cabin Boy contacted me by sending multiple comments to Hogewash! in the form of links from his new blog.
He has a post up where he misanalyzes the reasons why he’s had so many Twitter accounts suspended. Twitter has systems that flag accounts that have been blocked or reported as spammers. Schmalfeldt notes that followers or a recipients of @replies or @mentions can
hit “block and report” over and over and over and over and these “spam systems” will do the rest.
Then he adds—
Very clever. And evil. And, I imagine, it works both ways.
More about that in a bit. First, let’s examine were those blocks and/or spam reports about the Cabin Boy could have come from. I doubt that any came from his followers. Most likely, they came from users to whom he addressed unsolicited @replies or @mentions. In other words, when he tried to force himself on others, they asked to be left alone. When he did it enough times, Twitter suspended him.
Twitter’s method of spotting bad behavior is clever. Twitter’s systems aren’t evil, although the behavior they catch might be.
Now, about it working both ways … Yes, if other people @reply to Schmalfeldt or @mention him, he can block them or report them for spam. Also, if he were to follow someone with enough sock puppets, he could have the socks block report his target as a spammer, and Twitter would likely suspend the victim’s account.
Have I mentioned that someone keeps trying to have around 15,000 sock accounts follow Aaron Walker, Stacy McCain, and me?