A quick note to @busrep about that spam it sent to me on Twitter

I received a spam item as a Twitter direct message today. It wasn’t from some fake blonde, fraudster or the usual bunch of “@-reply” spammers. It was from a newspaper I followed on Twitter which spammed me using direct messaging:

Busrep spam

I may be a little touchy with this one but there is something about spamming me using direct messaging which rubs me the wrong (and a more unpleasant) way. Only people you follow can direct message you so a degree of trust is implicit when you have the ability to DM someone on Twitter. Its one thing to push out this sort of spam in a general tweet stream but quite another to abuse the trust the DM seems to engender.

Actually, “spam” probably isn’t the right term. “Spam” implies the communication is unsolicited, the contact unwanted and yet when I follow someone I expressly want to receive messages from them. So what is it then? I suppose it is pseudo-spam. I don’t particularly want to receive these sorts of messages directly on Twitter, straight into my inbox. Whatever it is, Twitter provides a simple solution:

Busrep unfollow



, ,



  1. Marius Bock avatar

    Paul, is this really fair towards them. How many of these DM's did you get? I also subscribed to them and only received the single welcome DM. You want to tell me that you have never DM'ed a welcome or thanks to someone that followed you.

    I am sure that you also subscribe to some mailing lists and when you do you also receive a welcome message send directly to you, do you then also unsubscribe to the list?

    If they send you some arbitrator/advertising DM's every now and then, then I would agree with you 100% but I think this DM is send with good intentions and to engage and acknowledge the fact that you follow them .. some form of thanks from them.

    Well just my opinion.

  2. pauljacobson avatar

    Hi, this isn't a welcome message. I've been following them for a while now. Granted it probably isn't as serious as I made it out to be. There was just something about the message that bugged me. I don't want to receive those sorts of messages in my Twitter inbox. It is one of the few restricted inboxes and I don't want it filled with solicitations like that.

  3. zanedickens avatar

    Hi Paul,

    We're sorry that you feel that way, it was a somewhat delayed implementation due to the holiday season, but it was simply intended to let you, and the rest of our followers, know what we offer on our website.

    We are sorry to see you go, but we stand by our welcome message as a simple “Hi, thanks for the follow, this is what we do”. We're not trying to push any product or affiliate link with the message. Although in hindsight after trimming the message down to fit 140 char, the actually “thanks” was lost.

    Ultimately though our presence on Twitter is about you, and so we ask sincerely – do you have any thoughts as to how we could rephrase the message in order for it to be less “spammy”?

    Thank you for your feedback, and we hope that you reconsider in the future, its still the same great content after all, and there won't be any further DMs.

    All the Best
    Zane Dickens
    @Busrep Team

  4. pauljacobson avatar

    Hi Zane, this is one of those times I posted when I was a little too grouchy to have a decent perspective. There is still something about receiving those messages in my inbox that bugs me. The inbox is more controlled and its almost like a safe space where there is relief from bulk commercial messages. I would rather see those messages in the usual Twitter stream @-reply directed at me rather than a DM. That's probably just me being difficult.

  5. zanedickens avatar

    Hi Paul,

    No worries, we all have those days. We'll try a generic public Welcome Message from time to time, but I think that if we were to @reply all our followers one by one it would smother the actual news, never mind take forever 😉

    I for one probably hate spam as much as you do, so I'll make sure we do our best not to produce any of it. Thanks again for letting us know.

    Zane Dickens
    @Busrep Team

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: