If you’ve been on Twitter for even a nanosecond, you’ve received one of these enthusiastically, obviously fake, exclamation pointed, auto-generated ‘welcome’ messages, otherwise known as an ‘auto DM (direct message):
Hi! Thanks for the follow! Please buy my book here (link), review it, follow me on Facebook, clean my house, and tell the world how amazing I am!!!!!!’
Okay, I jest (only slightly). DMs can be a useful tool in taking a public conversation private, or to connect with someone over a topic that you or they may not want the world to see. However, with the plethora of autoDM spam, the usefulness of DMs is lost.
If you’re tempted to set up your own ‘auto-responder’ welcome message, DON’T. Either take the time to welcome people, or simply interact some other way.
It’s worth noting here that you should NEVER click on a link in a DM unless it’s from someone you know personally, and if that link seems to be suspicious (i.e., ‘gain 10,000 new followers by clicking here!’), it usually means that friend has been hacked.
However, you can fight back! If a service offers an option to send an autoDM, they must also offer an opt out option as well. Let’s deconstruct.
OPT ME OUT
Owned by Social Oomph (a well-known scheduling service), the process is pretty basic. Twitter-based, go to their Twitter handle @optmeout and follow these instructions:
Process to opt-out: 1) Follow me, 2) Wait for follow back, 3) Send me a DM, 4) Unfollow me. Must be done in that order.
They aren’t kidding. Do it exactly in that order and you will be unsubscribed from anyone who is using their service for autoDMs.
Here’s what they say on their site:
If you are not an Unfollowers.me user, you have to authorize our app so that we can verify your identify. After authorizing if you wish you can revoke access to our application.
Then, you click on the BIG BLUE BUTTON that says ‘Add me to the DND (Do Not Disturb) List.’
TRUE TWIT VALIDATION
I do NOT recommend this service and here’s why: it’s a free service sends out an automated DM (bad) to every person who goes out of their way to follow you, requiring them to click on a link (bad) to confirm that they are not a bot. So, a bot to confirm that we are not a bot. Oh, the irony.
In addition, they require that you PAY THEM $20/year in order for them to NOT send the automated bot message. Um, what? No.
Not only that, but they don’t have an opt out list, which seems to fly in the face of FCC guidelines #justsayin. Repeated attempts at clarification on their opt out list (or lack thereof) have gone unanswered.
Two services that were quite effective in helping with DM spam, TwitCleaner and SocialToo, are no longer in service.
Sadly, there’s really no way to stop getting ALL DM spam except to ignore them completely. However, if you’re looking for business contacts or hoping to sell a product or service, it’s still worth checking DMs occasionally and sorting through the chaff.
Any questions or know of any other options? Please share below!