Copywriter, technical writer, translator (FR>EN, ES>EN, IT>EN), journalist

Fighting social network spam

Spam isn’t just for email anymore. It can come at you from social networks you belong to as well. Fortunately, you can effectively deal with social network spam using a little knowledge and a few good habits.

Try out these tips to prevent social network spam:

  1. Check the settings for each of your social network profiles. They will help you prevent unwanted messages from flooding your inbox.
  2. Check the settings for each group you belong to in social networks. Group members commonly send useful messages but unsolicited “commercial” messages may slip through the moderator’s grasp (if the group has a moderator) so if a group gets too spammy, opt out of group messages or consider leaving the group.
  3. Report social network spam whenever it occurs. Enough reports of abuse helps social networks flag spammers and deal with them.
  4. Bonus tip: If email spam is a problem for you and “unsubscribe” links in messages don’t solve the problem, try this instead: sign in to your email provider’s web client and report it there. On the few occasions I’ve done so (primarily using GMail), it caused issues for spammers that made them improve their behavior.

For what it’s worth, I use OpenLink on LinkedIn, which allows people who aren’t connected to me to send me messages for free. While I report abuse when it happens, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve had to do so to date.

The following short video shows a number of message settings in Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It’s worth a look.