Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Friday, 17 July 2015

Spambots that favourite random tweets on Twitter - a possible (gradual) solution

I am a bit surprised that @Twitter's not suspended these accounts. They are not necessarily posting spam (mostly sharing identical tweets with photos of underdressed people) but I don't think they're contributing that much to Twitter. I've blocked all of them after they've favourited tweets of mine. I assume favouriting is to make the account look like it's engaging in 'normal Twitter behaviour'. But perhaps I am just a terrible prude ;)

There are instructions below if you want to block them in one go. I've used TweeterID to convert their Twitter names to their Twitter ID, which Twitter uses for blocklists.

There seem to be hundreds of them but here's a selection: [Google search results for 'her' image -] - not awfully safe for work ;) - OK this one might just be a webcam sort of thing

INSTRUCTIONS for spamblock2015 file
Save a copy of
Delete Column B - all that should remain is a single column of numbers

Using the desktop version of Twitter log in and go to Settings / Blocked:
Click the 'Advanced options' link then 'import a list' then 'Attach a file to upload' - upload the file. To be honest I've no idea what happens after that!

Every so often I'll update the file with the new ones I block, filename won't change. Assuming it works if you check back and download then upload a later version of the file it will overwrite and you'll be blocking more of the spammers. I'm hoping that this might get Twitter to start suspending these accounts (in which case the list of accounts to block will actually reduce).

spamblock2015.csv file last updated 20 July 2015, 14:45 BST (prev 17 July 2015, 22:20).

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Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).