A few months ago I started following the #seochat. For those who don’t know, the #seochat takes place every Thursday at 6:00 PM PST. An industry expert is brought in to answer a few questions by one of three moderators, in addition to fielding inquiries asked by the peanut gallery. The chat is pretty basic, and usually takes an hour or so. I have to say, the #seochat is very informative and entertaining at the same time. In order to keep current on who is up next to be interviewed I monitor the hashtag. But lately the #seochat is getting spammed; pathetically ridiculously it’s just getting spammed. So rather than just ignore the hashtag completely I’ve taken a few steps to help alleviate the frustration:
Contact The Hashtag Moderators
The first thing to do is to send an @ reply or DM the known hashtag moderators about the problem. When you do this express your concern and passion for keeping the chat clean. Hashtag chats are setup so others can follow along and learn, no matter what the topic is. With that in mind those who are responsible for the over-all wellbeing of the chat, will want to know if “their” chat is being abused. However, if the spammer doesn’t listen/respond to the moderator there are a few other things you can do.
If you happen to use a third application such as Tweetdeck or Seesmic, there is a way to filter out the spammer from your tweets. Simply locate the settings then filter options and enter the spammer’s twitter handle. This should remove them completely from the chat you are monitoring. You might notice RTs and other bits of conversation that don’t make sense by other members of the chat; but spammers that engage aren’t really engaging. These spammers are only creating a presence so that their tweets during the week seem justified.
Block & Report Them
Pretty basic and straight forth I know. But if you aren’t using a third-party application (or even if you are) this is a way of notifying twitter that there is a spammer about. Regardless if they contribute or not or how genuine they appear, a spammer is a spammer.
In the end it will just come down to ignoring them completely. Ironically the ones who are spamming the #seochat actually participate in the chat, but I have no respect for someone who abuses it for their own gain. So even if they do engage during the chat, and I have them blocked/filtered, I might miss what they have to say. But how much can a spammer contribute to the conversation when their only goal is to abuse the hashtag the other six days of the week?