It's no secret that Twitter has become a preferred playground for spammers. Hashrocket's TweetBlocker sets out to change this by giving users a simple tool to easily identify spammers in the group of users they are following. TweetBlocker automatically identifies the spammers in your follow list and lets you easily unfollow and block them right from the TweetBlocker dashboard. Of course, if you are extremely careful about who you follow, chances are that you aren't even following a lot of spammers. If you auto-follow, however - or if you did so in the past - chances are that you are following quite a few spammers at this point.

How does TweetBlocker grade users? Among other things, it examines how active users are, as well as their ratio of friends and followers. In addition, TweetBlocker also examines the age of an account and applies Bayesian spam filtering algorithms to analyze a user's Twitter stream.

The TweetBlocker dashboard allows you to unfollow and block users individually or as a group. You can also hover over a user's avatar and see their last couple of tweets - just in case you are not quite sure if somebody is really a spammer.


Overall, TweetBlocker works just as advertised. We noticed, however, that while it did really well for those Twitter users it gave a C or D to, there were quite a few false positives among those users it graded with an F. These are supposed to be the worst of the worst spammers, but far too often they just turned out to be hapless Twitter users or people who had abandoned their accounts after a short time. 

APIs, Bookmarklets, and Integration

While the website is obviously the central focus of TweetBlocker, the company also provides an API for developers, as well as a bookmarklet that allows users to report spammers to TweetBlocker directly.

As a standalone service, TweetBlocker is already quite interesting. Things might get a lot more interesting in the near future, though. Jonathan Nelson, the product director of Hashrocket, tells us that Tweetie, the popular Twitter app, will integrate TweetBlocker with the next version of its application.

Note: Whenever you suspect that somebody is indeed a spammer, you can also send a direct message to @spam, Twitter's own spam fighting account.