Twitter sues five over spamming, providing automated tools

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Following in the footsteps of other social media giants, Twitter has filed its first-ever lawsuit against individuals and companies who enable spam to spread across the microblogging platform.

The company announced Thursday that it brought a complaint against companies it alleges provides tools that are used to deliver automated spam tweets, which attempt to dupe users into following links that hawk phony goods or distribute malware.

The suits, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, name TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, TweetBuddy, James Lucero of justinlover.info and Garland Harris of troption.com as defendants, according to a Reuters story. None responded to a request for comment, according to the report.

"Our challenge in battling spam is bad actors who build tools designed to distribute spam on Twitter (and the web) by making it easier for other spammers to engage in this annoying and potentially malicious activity," a company blog post said. "With this suit, we're going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal."

The company said it hopes the lawsuits act as a further deterrent to stop dubious tweets from circulating. In addition, Twitter said it has implemented technical safeguards, such as an automatic link shortening service, which checks URLs against a blacklist of potentially malicious sites.

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