There’s been a lot of commotion over Twitter spam lately, with Mashable’s Adam Ostrow writing that Twitter Spam has spiralled out of control. Adam goes on to suggest that “the time has arrived for Twitter to require a CAPTCHA with every new follow you want to make”.
Personally, I never really liked CAPTCHAs because of the negative impact on usability. But that’s a post for another day, I guess (Wired’s Paul Adams asked the question of whether Captcha’s moment is passing, and you can see the discussion there if you’re interested.)
The question I want to ask here is the question in the post title. Does Twitter spam really matter? Yes, it’s slightly annoying getting the random email notifications of being followed. But other than the email notifications, I personally don’t see the big deal about Twitter spam.
Twitter, by its nature, is inherently permission based, isn’t it? You choose who to follow. So how does Twitter spam fit in? Users can just choose not to follow the spammers, and that’s done, isn’t it? And based on Andre Nantel’s study, users are more or less intelligent enough to choose who to follow.
When the user controls what messages he receives, can spam really be that big an issue? Can it even be considered spam in the first place?
The second question, I don’t have a fixed answer to. But for the first question, I don’t see how spam can be such a big isssue.
What do you think? Is there something I’m missing from all of this??