Twitter Wins a Round Against Spammers

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Twitter prevailed in part against spammers who, it claimed, chased away its subscribers and saddled it with $700,000 in expenses.
     Twitter sued three businesses and six people in 2012, claiming the defendants created serial Twitter accounts, tweeted misleading links and promoted third-party software in violation of Twitter’s terms of service, which “expressly prohibit spamming.”
     Twitter and three defendants – Skootle Corp., James Kester and Troy Fales – reached a confidential settlement in February.
     This week U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar approved the settlement.
     In its federal complaint, Twitter claimed that Tennessee-based Skootle, operator of TweetAdder software, enabled users to create multiple Twitter accounts and broadcast spam tweets, and failed to warn that the actions violated Twitter’s service agreement.
     “In recent months, Twitter has received scores of complaints about myriad spam accounts that use the TweetAttacks software,” the complaint said.
     But Twitter’s “spam and abuse” rules prohibit subscribers from following a large number of users in a short time, posting the same tweet across multiple accounts, creating or purchasing multiple accounts to gain followers, tweeting misleading links, and “using or promoting third-party links that claim to generate more followers for an account, including ‘sites promising “more followers fast,” or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account.'”
     Tigar enjoined the defendants from violating Twitter’s terms of service or privacy policy, from developing or distributing software for use in connection with Twitter, and from sending unsolicited commercial messages to Twitter users.
     Costs and attorneys’ fees are to be handed individually, Tigar ruled.
     Twitter, self-described as “one of the world’s most popular online communications platforms, with over 140 million active users,” claimed it spent $700,000 on anti-spamming efforts against the defendants, including $75,000 against Skootle.
     The agreement is the second settlement in the series of lawsuits.
     Tweet Buddy founder Justin Clark and his company settled with Twitter out of court last year, Clark said via Twitter on Tuesday.
     “All Tweet Buddy users are reminded that they must comply with the Twitter Terms of Service and the Twitter rules,” a post on tweetbuddy.com stated.
     Remaining defendants include Philippines-based JL4 Web Solutions and three individuals.

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