I need advice. I don’t actually Twitter much (except from conferences) although I’ve set up discourse.net to feed a notice to twitter whenever I write something (and also to tweet when something appears on Jotwell). And to be honest I don’t even read the aggregate of other people’s Twitter feeds that often (although I do once in a while), as there’s just too much, and I can’t cope with the firehose.
But I do get emails whenever someone follows me — now running an average of almost two a day it seems. Many are real folks. That’s nice. A few others may be real folks but they seem to be pornographers or the like. I block them. My question is what to do about the followers who while not pornographers seem to be firms with no connection to what I write about, but seem instead to be firms using Twitter to promote themselves (e.g. auto repair, office supplies). Sometimes when I check their feeds they seem to be genuinely interested in, say, privacy issues, most most often every post just promotes their firm.
Should I block them? Report them as spam? Ignore them? I don’t much care about my 580-something Twitter followers; it takes different things to feed or deflate my ego. But there is a different reason why I might care: On the one hand, I don’t like spammers, and if they are getting some benefit from this behavior I’m going to be on board to make the effort, up to some point, to deny them that benefit in service to the commons. On the other hand, it’s one more darn thing to worry about and choosing which people to block is not costless — the process of trying to figure out if they are for real or not does take some amount of effort I’d just as soon not expend if the exercise is pointless.
So, Twitter users, what are the relevant norms? Should I care about this?