Mass-identifying and reporting Twitter spammers

So about two years ago, there was a whole ton of twitter spam crossing my timeline regarding various non-Australian politicians, and various troll farms.

It got me wondering what – if anything – could be done to bulk-report the purveyors of the exact same junk messages, given Twitter’s own systems don’t seem to catch and action this kind of thing fast enough.

After a little bit of research, I stumbled across this piece of code (The Pinisher) on Github. Despite not having any commits in the last six years – it hasn’t needed any. It still works like a charm.

Long story short, it can be run at command line, and only needs:

Once all those prerequisites are met, running a search of specific tweets and mass reporting the accounts is a breeze.

Why i’m posting about it right now is an acquaintance shared a post regarding a coordinated campaign involving the same tweet regarding UK Prime Minister Boris Johnston (and no, we’re not talking about the lazy copy and paste job by his party members regarding Angela Rayner).

Specifically, a network of accounts – whose common theme is Soccer – are all strangely posting the exact same thing.

Once you’ve defined your search, dropped the query into the relevant part of the index.js file, and run it from the terminal – just let it sit in the background, and it will just carry on happily reporting the accounts posting the same junk.

Yes, this does have some risks – being it may catch people who post about the coordinated campaign being run if they use the same text in a tweet. I’d encourage you to carefully choose the search phrase to help ensure such persons aren’t accidentally caught up by your reports.

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