On Twitter, I am perpetually getting new 'followers' – those who have decided to include my tweets in their own customised timeline as it's called. I usually get two or three a day: it never seems to ease off at all significantly.
These new followers seem mostly to fall into one of five categories...
- Genuine: those who have a real reason for wishing to follow me, for who I am;
- Commercial: those whose profile makes it clear that they're trying to sell me something, or similar;
- Spammers: those who hope I am one of those who will automatically follow them back, so that all their spam gets into my timeline (easily checked by looking at their list of tweets: gives the game away!)
- Hackers: those who have usually already hacked one of my regular contacts' account and that person now seems to be sending me links. These turn out to be hacking sites, easily ascertained by (again) looking at their list of tweets. One of our Police Commissioner candidates (would you believe) has fallen for this three times that I know of in recent months;
- Political opponents: their aim is to spot something they can use against me, ideally (for them) that can act as a smear against others as well. They also use me as an access point to troll and/or otherwise pester others with whom I am in Twitter conversation. As a basic courtesy to those others, I tend to have to block the offender from access to my tweets. Put yourselves in my place and see if you can come up with an alternative: I haven't yet found one.
If those ones try too much manipulation, or make any personal smearing attempt at all, then they end up blocked. I might relent after a couple of weeks and give them a second chance, but any repetition and it's then a block for life. I really dislike dirty people, and that's among the dirtiest on-line behaviour of which I know. They are no loss; and it is entirely their own doing.
Perhaps they'll learn from the experience, but I doubt it...