Yesterday I noticed a near 10% spike in my followers. You notice something like that. I thought maybe it was an unexpected response to having my book on conflict resolution published.
It was not. Instead it was a small army of spam porn accounts complete with embarrassing profile pics and porn links. That Britney one with the peculiar punctuation and what I think is a hot dog is particularly dangerous.
Spam accounts cause a real problem for a professional using Twitter to communicate.
A potential client could look at who follows me – why wouldn’t they? If they see that I am followed by a bunch of porn spammers, what impact does that have on my reputation?
Sure, I can delete, or block, accounts, although the Twitter tools for doing so are slow and fallible. They keep on coming back.
Now, you and I know that just because someone follows me, does not mean that I am associated with them, but then again you and I are fairly savvy about that sort of stuff.
To a potential client, or referrer, or colleague, I will be judged by the company that I appear to be keeping.
The answer is that I have to manage the followers and ensure that embarrassing contacts are not in there. This is an unwelcome administrative chore especially when 50 of the scum turn up at once.
I could just leave the stuff up there, but then someone looking at my followers will draw the conclusion that I approve, don’t manage my online reputation, or am simply apathetic. Not quite the image I want to portray.
It becomes impossible for me to demonstrate Twitter, how it works and the like to colleagues or clients because I cannot click through to my followers confident in knowing that there will not be a new porn profile glaring out.
I cannot even use Twitter, or the followers page at home if my children are around, or my wife for that matter – that is something I would rather not have to explain.
I now need to spend 15 minutes clearing my followers out. Next time, who knows, I might just clear out altogether.
Twitter, do us a favour, and sort this out.
Fellow Twitter users, is your followers page ruining your reputation?