• Rob Marley

How to Avoid Evil Twitter Apps

Yesterday, in a moment of what can only be described as heat-induced delirium, I allowed an app to spam my Twitter followers.

I clicked on a link to an app that someone sent me that was originally worded as a way to keep track of followers and unfollows in my feed. I have used a few of these over the years and some have been really helpful. (ManageFlitter, for example, is a fantastic tool.) However the one that I apparently clicked on yesterday is nothing but evil spammy crap.

I awoke this morning to a DM from a friend asking me if I had sent him a message that looked like spam. I attempted to reply to him saying that I didn't send him anything, but was told by Twitter that my “rate limit was exceeded” - this means that I was attempting to send too many direct messages per hour (Twitter sets this to 100.) Since this was the only message I had sent directly by my fingers, I knew exactly what was going on: Something had hijacked my account and was attempting to send spam to every one of my followers. I looked at my Message list and sure enough, it looks like 100 people got sent the same B.S. message by me at about 3:30 in the morning:

"Hello, can I get to you spam all of your friends with garbage?"

This is interesting, as i believe this is not the original message I clicked on that started this whole mess. The message I got was worded entirely differently.

I quickly scanned the list of apps I have given permission to communicate with Twitter (go to Settings > Apps) and discovered one that was added yesterday that I don't remember adding - it disguised itself as an app that informs you of food trucks in your area. I don't frequent food trucks enough to warrant needing an app, so it was easy to deduce this was the offender.

With elaborate and creative visions of what I would like to do to the person that wrote this little piece of code, I immediately revoked its access and changed my Twitter password.

As a general rule, NEVER authorize any app that guarantees you to get more twitter followers (or in this case, “followers twitter.”) Just report the offending app to Twitter and you (and your followers) will be much happier. And for those 100 people that got blindsided by an unwelcomed message by me, please accept my most sincere apology.


About Rob Marley - A Los Angeles native, Rob is an accomplished voice talent, producer and writer, now living in the Hill Country of Austin, Texas. Find out more here.