A lot of people are saying that Twitter is not doing a very good job of stopping spammy posts from appearing in their timelines, and I concur.
My Twitter feed used to be infested with spammy weight loss messages from apps and unwanted tweets from games. Worse, I’ve noticed that some applications caused unwanted behavior on my account, like following other users and retweeting on my behalf.
For its part, Twitter lets users select which apps are allowed to post on the service on their behalf. It’s actually incredibly easy to stop unwanted apps from spamming you on Twitter with just a few clicks, let me show you how.
The primary source of these unwanted tweets on your Twitter timeline are third-party apps that you’ve authorized to use your Twitter account. A game, for example, might ask your permission to use your Twitter account for elevated social experience.
An app like Foursquare, for instance, might ask permission to use your Twitter account in order to help you connect with your Twitter friends who also happen to use Foursquare. Thankfully, Twitter has provided a central place to manage permissions for apps that use your Twitter account.
How to stop apps from spamming you on Twitter
1) In your desktop browser, log in to twitter.com.
2) Click your profile image in the top right corner and choose Settings in the menu.
3) In the lefthand column, click Apps. You can also access this page directly at twitter.com/settings/applications.
4) In the Applications section on the right, you’ll see a list of the applications you’ve authorized to post to your account.
5) Identify an application that has been posting unwanted tweets in your timeline on your behalf, and then click the Revoke Access button next to that app.
Tip: Should you accidentally choose this option, simply click the Undo Revoke Access button that will appear.
If you believe that an app is using your permission in a way that breaks Twitter’s Terms of Service, you can click the Report Application link that appears after you have removed access to that application in the web interface.
This will take you to the Twitter API Policy Support webpage.
Now select “I’d like to report an application causing spam or abuse,” enter the app’s name in the text box, tick the box next to “I have revoked this application by visiting the Applications tab in my Account Settings” and hit the Submit button.
Tips for authorizing apps to use your Twitter account
You can prevent a lot of spammy posts going forward by being more selective about connecting your Twitter account in apps. If a service asks for permission to use your account to help you connect with your Twitter friends, you could grant that permission and then revoke access as soon as the app adds your Twitter followers.
And when you do connect to a third-party application, make sure to carefully review the various permissions you are granting to that app, listed in green (what the app can do with your account) and red (what the app can’t do).
Another sound advice: aside from Twitter clients, you should never provide an app with a password to access your Twitter account. That’s especially true for apps that post affiliate ads to your timeline and websites claiming to help you get more followers fast.
And last but not least, if you suspect a malicious app is still connected to your account, immediately change your Twitter password.
Here are a few other Twitter-related tutorials you might find useful:
- How to delete your Twitter account
- How to disable auto-play videos on Twitter
- How to enable ‘Show me the best tweets first’ on Twitter
- How to enable two-step verification on Twitter
Feel free to browse the full iDownloadBlog archive of Twitter tutorials and don’t forget you can send us your tutorial submissions at [email protected].