A Twitter hashtag to let people know about news and events from Wokingham is being hijacked by people posting soft porn.
With Wokingham MP John Redwood attracting internet attention to the borough for comments he made in the Financial Times about investing in Europe rather than Britain, the #Wokingham tag on Twitter has been used a fair amount over the past few days.
(For those who don’t use the social media site Twitter, a tag allows users interested in a certain topic such as Wokingham to find Tweets (messages) about the subject if they have the # symbol before it – #Wokingham).
The spammers, probably ‘bots’ – computer generated tweets made by programmers, have been bombing the #Wokingham tag with soft porn images. While most are just about safe enough for work, plenty of the images are not.
Twitter encourages reporting the spammers by clicking on a down arrowhead next to the tweet, and then clicking on the ‘it’s spam’ button, but it’s a bit like a game of whack-a-mole as all the tweets appear to be coming from different Twitter accounts.
It is also possible to search Twitter for #Wokingham but also tell Twitter to remove searches that contain certain keywords, simply by adding a – symbol before the keyword.
For the moment, there’s not a lot that can be done other than hoping the Twitter bots will move on to another hashtag and reporting the images as they come up.
All images link to the a soft porn website.
Good web practice is not to click on a link from a source that you are not familiar with as the webpage it directs to may contain viruses, spam links or worse.