Category: sage advice

New, more subtle, Twitter spammers

The @FCShirtsUnited Twitter account got an interesting new follower today. After a quick skim of the new follower’s recent tweets, I actually (embarrassingly) thought it was real. Later I got another new follower, who also looked real at first glance. But then I happened to notice one of their tweets that sounded oddly familiar, so I brought up the other new follower’s page. . . Sure enough. Spammers.

It’s a new (to me, at least) spammer scam. It’s more subtle than what I’ve usually seen, which is usually just an account with a crazy name that follows or mentions one of the accounts I run, possibly with a short phrase or a few random words, and then a link. Those are obviously spam, and I admit to a certain satisfaction in marking them as such in my Twitter app.

But this new style is more subtle, and seems aimed at a longer play. Before starting whatever spammy activity is surely planned, these accounts are being established more carefully. A single one of these accounts could almost be confused with a real (if annoying, repetitive, and kind of dumb) person. But two together clearly shows the pattern, including the intentional attempt to make them seem random, different, and more believable.

I give you: Exhibits A and B, “tomiko lykins” and “shaquita link”.
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tomiko lykins
tomiko lykins
shaquita link
shaquita link
My annoying sister has put something on my mac. Was that really necessary? #somad My cheeky brother has changed something on my mac. I wish I understood more about these things #somad
Feel great right now. Not sure what I consumed that has done this, but would like to feel it more often. 🙂 Feel tip-top today. Not sure what I imbibed that has done this, but would like to feel it more often. 🙂
How come when I put the Sky control down, I can never find it for ages.!! How is it when I lay the Sky control down, I can never find it again#wtf
Taking my friend to a speed dating later. Should be interesting, lol Taking my sister to a singles night later. Weirdly nervous for her, 🙂
etc. etc.

(They aren’t tweeted in that same order; I found the similar ones and matched them that way.)

So, anyway — if you’re followed by similar fake young British-y women, mark them as spam ASAP, before whatever diabolical plan they’re part of can come to fruition!

Hark, Vagrant Advice

Last thing: Because we’re both on the internet right now and these answers are for people who want to know about webcomics, well, someday you are going to run into some jerks who will tell you your comic sucks the worst forever or something. Even though we’re all grown ups and you know better, you’ll probably feel pretty down about it. Remember that usually they really are jerks because jeez, are we on the internet or are we on the internet? That’s where jerks live. You probably already know the weaknesses in your work because you are a Great Artist in the Making and we are all our own worst critics. Remember that on the internet you can go to a place that reviews Citizen Kane and underneath it someone will have written “this is the most overrated piece of shit on planet Earth.” Then remember that whoever said that doesn’t matter. So keep it up! And nuts to the haters, you’re the best.

FAQ/About page for “Hark, a vagrant”, Kate Beaton

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