#Twitter Sucks At Malware Protection (98hrs later)

Just over 4 hours ago I published a post congratulating Google and Stopbadware on their efficiency in responding to malware, and eventually the speed with which they reinstate a “bad” domain after malware has been removed.

In contrast, whist everyone seems to enthuse about how real-time Twitter is, their system handling malware is such a delayed knee-jerk reaction that it should just be removed as a total failure.

You see an hour ago I received the following email

twitter-malware

  • That was sent approximately 10 hours after I noticed Google had given the all clear and removed warnings from their search results
  • Google had informed Stopbadware.org which is used by browsers, and there were no longer warning messages in Firefox and Chrome (I didn’t check IE)

The notification suggests that links have been removed from the Twitter system and they have removed a link from my profile

unsafe-link-1

Here is the link within the profile editor

unsafe-link-2

Any attempt to edit the link results in a warning at the top of the page

twitter-malware-unsafe-link

I can understand that Twitter is a big site, and it might take a long time to process malware notifications, thus it might well have taken them 36 hours from when Google notified Stopbadware to get to the stage of realising that there might be a malware problem.

But knowing they were processing 36 hour old data, wouldn’t it be sensible, in fact downright prudent to double-check with a fresh import of data from Stopbadware, just in case during the interim 36 hours the situation had been rectified.

Instead they clobber my profile links, and possibly others as I haven’t tried posting a direct link to this domain yet from Twitter, but I wouldn’t put it past them preventing links that haven’t been pre-shortened from now being posted.

It is good that Twitter is doing something to protect their users, but this is like putting on a condom the morning after.

Update: 24 Hours Later

It is now 24 hours since Twitter notified me that they were removing links to http://andybeard.eu, and about 34 hours after I noticed my site had the all clear from Google and Stopbadware.

It is clear that someone from Twitter is aware of the problem, as there has been a manual fix to my profile link, but it still isn’t possible for someone to create a direct link to my site from Twitter without it being rejected as malware.

As an example, I just tried the following tweet “Twitter still thinks http://andybeard.eu has malware”

The result is a warning notice

Oops! Your Tweet Contained A URL To A Known Malware Site

Oops! Your Tweet Contained A URL To A Known Malware Site

I should point out that Google and Stopbadware were a lot less accusatory in their wording, suggesting possible causes. There is a difference between a site specifically hosting malware and a site that has been hacked and had iframes inserted.

Update: 98 Hours Later

It is now 98 hours since Twitter notified me that they were removing links to http://andybeard.eu, and about 108 hours after I noticed my site had the all clear from Google and Stopbadware.

Obviously I feel Twitter need to fix something that is incredibly broken

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Comments

  1. says

    Hmm. it takes more than a day to process? That’s not really good. As you said, twitter is a big site. They should have fast responses to that, like an hour at the latest. But more than one day? that could be dangerous to some twitter users.

  2. says

    Twitter sucks sometimes… As in right now, while I’m writing this comment, all Twitter apps is not working ugh! I hope they fix it soon!

  3. says

    Sometimes, I really hate twitter. I think Twitter is a great social media-thingy, but sometimes it just sucks… like you’ve written above. I think they should manually check that stuff…

  4. Alex | SMM says

    I think the problem with Twitter is they’ve gone too far too fast and now they are overwhelmed. I am sure they are probably working to solve these issues, but it will take time.

  5. Capital west advisor says

    I feel twitter is the best social networking site. But i don’t like twitter converting the content in tiny links. especially link which we post will be converted to short links which are of less use for web marketing.
    ________________________________________________________________

    • says

      I doubt it would matter that much

      Having looked at what you are writing or syndicating from somewhere, I doubt the traffic is going to be very interested anyway.

      You host on WordPress.com where you can’t do any reasonable marketing anyway, no method of proactive split testing, you can’t even use Google Analytics.

      At least with short links on Twitter you can use your own tracking links, and there is nothing wrong with you using branded shortened links.

    • says

      Just don’t follow the bots and you don’t see them, other than search.

      I must admit I feel some of the canned autotweets some people use every hour become irritating.

  6. Roger says

    I really dont get all the fuzz about Twitter, to be quite honest. Every single time I read about it it`s from someone that wanna make money with it. What about those of us that actually do not have as a goal to make money on every single web project we got running? Cuz I got several blogs in various topics, and have been thinking about using Twitter more.. But then, guess who comes along. That`s right, some kind of money maker guru wannabe, and all my hopes for Twitter are suddenly and brutally torn to pieces.

  7. Gordon says

    I think Twitter will be fine in the long run. As many have noted above, it’s just growing too fast for the developers to keep up with it! Especially now the hackers and malicious web users are circling like sharks. Having said that, it’s an excellent platform for promotion from SKILLED writers (I exclude the spammy linkbots) and corporate outreach – check @DubLiCorporate to see what I mean. It’ll be interesting to see how the platform develops in coming years, especially considering the lucrative possibilities of monetization for Twitter. The future’s an interesting place!

  8. says

    Another victim of The Twitter Man. I just said this morning that I’d be more than happy to pay a reasonable amount each month to get a top customer service with Twitter. For some unexplained reason my supaswag account disappeared from the Twitter index/search half a year ago and now, 4 days ago they locked my account for ‘too many failed login attempts’. The automated message tells me to ‘chillax’. Very funny. I never spamed Twitter and I certainly don’t have accounts that constantly flood the stream with automated updates. Is it because most of my friends are SEO people and marketers? Is there a blacklist? Am I getting paranoid already? Or is this just a silly bug that will take months and months for them to fix? Whatever the reason, I am grounded, stranded, cut off & I don’t like it. Trust takes a long time to earn and can be lost in a second. #twitterfail

  9. jackie maxwell says

    twitter has a problem. i subscribed to check it out and it simply is too creepy- they send out mails to folks on my e-mail list, that i was “following” them.
    this is wrong, creepy, and wrong. i am trying to unsubscribe but there is no way to do it. it is like i am being held captive.
    i hope no one ever joins Twitter again. really, they should be sued. again. there are lots of comments online about this same problem. it is not just me. BEWARE OF TWITTER

    so, be