Pretty Rhythm Fan Creates Web App to Combat Gory Twitter Spam
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Twitter bot accounts often spam users' feeds with unwanted or inappropriate content. A certain type of Twitter bot account spreads "grotesque images" among users in Japan, and the problem intensified around January 4. The Tweet replies contain explicit photographs of human bodies or similar content. The spam Tweets began as replies to popular Tweets related to anime and video games, but after the initial wave, these inappropriate replies began to appear attached to a wide variety of popular Tweets. The accounts posting the grotesque spam images often have misleading names that may reference unrelated people.
Japan's Twitterverse has been scrambling to deal with the problem. When an account posting the gory images is frozen, other soon appear to take its place and continue spreading the upsetting spam. Twitter Japan has acknowledged the problem and asked users to report when they see the such content. However, one user and anime fan may be the source of the most successful countermeasure so far.
Twitter user @Chupacabras_MON, who appears to be a Pretty Rhythm fan, created a web app that blocks grotesque images from fellow users' feeds. Users who register with the app automatically have content blocked from lists of accounts reported to be spreading the grotesque images. As the reported lists update, the app automatically updates the accounts that it blocks.
When ITmedia's Netlab website reached out to @Chupacabras_MON, the Twitter user reported that a similar system that blocked anime spoilers last year inspired the new app. Before the King of Prism: PRIDE the HERO anime (seen above right) opened in Japan on June 10, the film had advance screenings. Twitter accounts with names and profiles that also contained spoilers began to appear and spread spoilers among fans. @Chupacabras_MON made a web app to combat the problem and reworked it to deal with the new grotesque image trend.
@Chupacabras_MON's new web app has apparently become popular after debuting this week. The Tweet announcing the app has been retweeted more than 11,000 times.
Thanks to Iyane Agossah for the news tip.