Twitter Declares War on Spambots, Takes Tool Developers to Court

At long last, Twitter is taking steps to scrub its service of all those annoying auto-messagers by suing spam tool developers into oblivion.

With over 140 million active members, Twitter is a prime target for spambot shenanigans. However, the micro-blogging site argues that spammers hurt the service's reputation and have left it with no option but to make an example of the most egregious offenders.

According to Twitter's official blog,

This morning, we filed suit in federal court in San Francisco against five of the most aggressive tool providers and spammers. With this suit, we're going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter.

The parties named in Twitter's suit are TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, TweetBuddy, and users Garland Harries and James Lucero. "By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal," a Twitter blog post read. "With this suit, we're going straight to the source."

In addition, Twitter has also implemented additional safeguards including algorithms to better track @reply spam (type "iPad" in a Tweet and discount offers for the tablet flood in), added checks to ensure the URL shortener doesn't allow links to malicious sites, and old-fashioned ban-hammering. [Twitter via Wired, Slash Gear]