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Spinuzzi’s Spambots

Posted by: on Mar 4, 2012 | 4 Comments

I have a vanity search set up on Tweetdeck so that I can see if people are mentioning my name on Twitter. One blessing of having a name like “Spinuzzi” (as opposed to “Jones” or “Williams”) is that I don’t get too much noise – a relatively high percentage of Spinuzzi mentions really will be about me. But many aren’t. For instance, there’s a high school baseball coach in California whose students tweet about him daily.

But what really interests me is a set of bizarre tweets like these, all of which mention “Spinuzzi” in some way:

These all appear autogenerated from a relatively small set of templates:

  • (firstname) (lastname) is (adjective). (pronoun) (verb) the (noun).
  • Going to watch (movie name), (firstname) (lastname) r u ready?
  • (firstname) (lastname) thinks I’m (noun) and (noun).
They’ve been going on for a while now, at least a few months, and they’ve increased dramatically. 
Let’s click through to one of these accounts and see what it looks like:
Again, we see a relatively small number of templates cranking out a huge number of variations. Why? I’m guessing it has something to do with some of the other tweets interspersed between these ones:
If an account exclusively sent out links to products, perhaps it would be caught in Twitter’s spam filters. But if the account also sends out a wide range of legitimate sentences – sentences that have nouns, verbs, and adjectives – it might trick the spam filter into seeing the account as genuine. I suspect that’s what’s happening here. Bots lying to bots. 

4 Comments

  1. Unknown
    March 4, 2012

    Spinuzzi is successful. He induce the attention.

  2. Unknown
    March 4, 2012

    Not sure why I'm “Unknown.” Sorry about that. -Collin Brooke

  3. Clay Spinuzzi
    March 4, 2012

    That was classic!

  4. ailsa
    March 10, 2012

    web 3.0 is alive and … well…hope these bots know about fluffy cats as well as porn and viagra. Otherwise they simply arent making the most of the technology!

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