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Twitter Files Lawsuit against Spam-enablers
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On Thursday, Twitter Inc filed a lawsuit in a San Francisco federal court against five spam-enablers. The defendants include “TweetAttacks” run by JL4 Web Solutions, Philippines, “TweetAdder” run by Tennessee-based Skootle Corporaration, “TweetBuddy,” and individuals James Lucero and Garland Harris.

The lawsuit aims at people who build spamming tools including software that automatically identifies popular discussion threads and starts inserting spammy marketing messages.

The implications are quite wide, and the legal questions that need to be addressed could also likely be applied later against software producers who produce tools that can be used for illegal activity, with the choice upon users to which use they put it.

  
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Twitter said in a blog post, “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.”

This is definitely tough to do, because, as mentioned, the legal principles involved could extend to a lot of activities and platforms that leave the choice of use upon the user. A knife can be used to cut vegetables or to commit crimes – but the question of shutting down knife-makers because of crimes committed by knives is something that has to be approached cautiously. In the instant case, only those spam-enablers have been identified, who by the very names of their products, make their intent clear.

Several of the websites named in Twitter’s suit went offline by Friday afternoon including TweetBuddy, TweetAttacks and others. However TweetAdders and several sites owned by Garland Harris continued to run. Twitter has sought injunctions as well as monetary damages against each defendant.

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Twitter announced on its blog that its workers and experts have recently renewed anti-spam measures “to more aggressively suspend a new type of @ mention spam.”

Twitters recent anti spam efforts are paying off, according to industry experts, and the spam levels have gone down discernibly, though it’s still higher than the levels of spam found on Facebook.





 

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