Muschamp Rd

Stop spamming #quotation

January 25th, 2013
Can of Spam

Some people like quotations. Some people collect quotations. Some people use the hashtag “quotation” to share quotations on social networks like Twitter. Some other people use #quotation to spam Twitter with ads for knickknacks. Zazzle.com a website I’d never heard of has been rewarding people for relentlessly spamming Twitter using the hashtag quotation as part of an advertising campaign for trinkets. To quote Chuck Palahniuk:

You are not your fucking khakis.

#quotation spamThis has been going on for an extended period of time. I asked them to stop on Twitter but the folks behind @zazzle and the following accounts don’t care about the people who use Twitter to share quotations:

It appears people also spam #quotation to try and get you to buy from Amazon.com too. 100’s of near identical tweets tagged #quotation have been made by the above the accounts in the last few days. Not one of the tweets actually contained a quotation.

@13quotations retweets most anything tagged #quotation including spam. Associated with the spam accounts are the following other Twitter accounts:

And the following URLs:

  • GreatSouthernWritersSyndicate.com
  • ShoeShies.com
  • LondonsTimes.us
  • LoveQuoteGifts.com
  • RickLondonOrganics.com

Don’t support spammers!

Endless #quotation spam

Rick London and Lee Hiller-London are a married couple who apparently enjoy spamming Twitter and fans of quotations.

Rick London is the creator and founder of London’s Times and Panel Hollywood Cartoons. He creates all concepts and writes all text. He was born in Hattiesburg, MS and now makes his home in Arkansas. He has worked as a standup comedian, a playwright and tv/radio producer in Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles.

Other domains in Rick’s empire include:

  • RickLondonCollection.com
  • LTSuperstore.com
  • ShoesThatAmuse.com
Lee Hiller “who is (according to Google) America’s favorite Love Columnist” has additional Twitter accounts:
And the following domains:
  • LeeHiller.com
  • LeeHillerDesigns.com
  • ABlondeWithABrand.com
  • HikeOurPlanet.com

The technical contact for those domains include:

  • Benjamin Cohen : info@gswsyndicate.com
  • Richard Stetelman : rick@londonstimes.us
  • Aimee Foyil : aimee.foyil@yahoo.com

Eli Zbar is apparently a student in Vancouver with aspirations to become a professional spammer. His website (www.elizbar.com) is temporarily unavailable.

Please help me to encourage Rick London and Lee Hiller-London to stop spamming #quotation so it can go back to being used by fans of quotations to actually share quotations on online social networks such as Twitter.

Zazzle.com and Amazon.com are rewarding these spammers with a means to monetize their spam. Twitter has mechanisms to fight spam, I will be reporting theTwitter accounts listed above for spamming. I encourage other fans of quotations to do the same.

Update

I’m not the only one who has had issues with hashtag spam. Apparently major conferences have been overrun with deliberate and often pornographic spam. This spam isn’t pornographic but it is repetitive, unwanted, and has overwhelmed a previously useful hashtag for finding quotations.

But Wait There is More

It took a while, over a year but the Great Southern Writers Syndicate appears to have noticed this post. They, perhaps Benjamin Cohen, claim they are not in fact spammers. So I give you the Twitter Terms of Service. From there you can find the Twitter Rules where you will find under the heading “Abuse and Spam” the following:

  • Serial Accounts: You may not create multiple accounts for disruptive or abusive purposes, or with overlapping use cases. Mass account creation may result in suspension of all related accounts. Please note that any violation of the Twitter Rules is cause for permanent suspension of all accounts.
  • Spam: You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. What constitutes “spamming” will evolve as we respond to new tricks and tactics by spammers. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming are:
    • If your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates;
    • If a large number of spam complaints have been filed against you;
    • If you post duplicate content over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account;
    • If you post multiple unrelated updates to a topic using #, trending or popular topic, or promoted trend;
    • If you post misleading links (e.g. affiliate links, links to malware/click jacking pages, etc.);

The above accounts were all created in order to send multiple duplicate tweets to select hashtags consisting of links not personal updates. None of them contained actual quotations, but instead links to nicknacks for which they would collect an affiliate commission if a sale was completed. I tracked down the actual people and accounts behind the bot accounts and wrote this post after they repeatedly ignored mine and other pleas to stop spamming hashtags.

I am not the only blogger to take exception to the spamming of hashtags. It is against the Terms of Use of Twitter, but it is not in Twitter’s best interest to kick off all spammers and bots, just the worst offenders. Twitter would rather reform companies and individuals and get them buying advertisements. I worked in IT for far too long, I have zero tolerance and sympathy for spammers. If years later they wish to hide their spammer past, well too fucking bad.


  • Eli Zbar

    Umm…I am @elijzbar and I can confirm that I have never used the #quotations hashtag. I really do NOT appreciate being slandered online like this, especially because I have not done anything wrong! Please link me to a tweet of mine from my profile that is even close to one of the tweets you allege I sent. Also, my website is fully operational and was at the time article was posted.

  • This post is over a year old. I have no doubt in that time you’ve taken down many tweets between now when you’re suddenly offended January 2013 when I finally had enough of people spamming #quotation. I have wasted too much time and effort fighting spammers. Your website was definitely down for a period of time. I’m not a liar. You’re welcome to do and say what you like but if you repeatedly use a #hashtag dozens of times in a row with the exact same tweet that is spam. If the purpose of your tweets is to dominate a popular hashtag and to try and sell t-shirts and mugs, that is most definitely spam.

    I think you’re righteousness is misplaced. I don’t really have time for bullshit, but when people abused Twitter and make my life more difficult, it pisses me off. If you really are not a spammer or you have moved on from spamming, then you have nothing to worry about. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook etc. definitely kick off spammers eventually. But to claim you never used the hashtag is a lie, I set up a program to monitor the #quotation hashtag and you along with the other accounts spammed the hell out of that, making my tool and time and effort all for naught.

  • You control the account @thejewbot that account definitely spammed #quotation to sell trinkets. The tweets are still in Topsy, so just take your righteous indignation elsewhere, if you spam email, twitter, pinterest, it pisses people off. If they call you out on it and you ignore them for over a year then suddenly realized the error of your ways, congratulations. It doesn’t make me a liar. You used the hashtag over and over and over to sell trinkets, ergo you are a spammer.

    https://support.twitter.com/articles/49309-using-hashtags-on-twitter#

  • GSWSyndicate

    Spam on Twitter is one of two things (Read the TOS); repeating the same tweet twice in a day and 2. Tweeting specifically @someone. That’s it. Sorry to disappoint you. Again read the TOS if not convinced.

  • GSWSyndicate

    Perhaps before becoming a journalist, you should look at the products they are selling. ALL of them have #quotes #quotations etc on them. Of course Zazzle doesn’t mind nor does Twitter. It would be fruitless to sell products that contain #quotes and not add that in the tweet, and by the way, perhaps get a life. Don’t you have better things to do? I surely hope so….at least go to journalism class and learn how to research before bitchin’ like a baby. And you have 24 hours to remove this. Thank you.

  • Those are not the Twitter Terms of Use. I linked to the actual terms of use above and quoted them directly on this day July 24th 2015. The past actions of the Twitter accounts linked to above is spam due to it’s automatic, repetitive, non-personalized nature, it’s direct targeting of hashtags via a bot, and the use of affiliate links. The fact your bot managed to go undetected made it no less annoying to actual fans of quotations who use Twitter.

    You are a spammer.

  • This post was written on January 15th 2013 well over 24 hours ago. The fact you ignored me and continued to spam #quote #quotation and #quotes or paid someone to spam it with a bot on your behalf while attempting to collect commissions from the sales of nicknacks makes you a spammer. The fact it took you over a year to notice this post further reflects poorly on your intelligence. The fact you think I am a journalist with a degree in journalism indicates you are incapable of clicking the “About” button.

    You are a spammer. Your actions wasted my time and money. I appreciate you stopping by calling me a bitch and a baby and making idle threats. The above post is factually correct, the screenshots have not been edited. I link directly to Twitter’s Terms of Service and indicate which of them I think you violated under “Spam and Abuse” I await the expiration of your 24 hour deadline with bemusement knowing this post has already been online for 1000s of hours.

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