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I love the smell of some Twitter spam in the morning. iPads, iPods, books, movies, videogames, free holidays: I’ve seen – and blocked – them all.

Then this happened.

Yes, Twitter users are being sent, er, a free “arse”. Quite a lot of them, actually:

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“Why did you send me an arse?”
Good question, random person on Twitter. All of these messages are coming via an application called Giftify(dot)me, where you select a “gift” to send somebody and then off it goes. The gifts include a pig wearing wellies, a flower and a picture of the now defunct News of the World newspaper (topical!)
However, everybody seems to have gone derrière crazy for reasons known only to the spambots. Speaking of which:
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The app itself is fairly standard in terms of what permissions it asks for:

Worth noting it cannot access your password, or your Direct Messages. Of course, if you’re giving an app permission to “post tweets for you” then being able to access your password doesn’t matter too much where random message are concerned. With that in mind, we’ve been testing and (so far) the test accounts using this app haven’t sent anything from the app itself (yet).

It seems likely that someone, somewhere has set up a collection of spambots to autopost these messages to any Twitter users that have said the word “arse” on their feed, for the sole purpose of humour or whatever (except that it isn’t really very funny but never mind).

Having said that, attempts to gain the attention of the spambots (and test accounts) have failed so far. And don’t think I haven’t tried. A surprising amount of you took me up on the offer, too…not sure if that’s a good thing but anyway: for the moment, our test accounts are not randomly spamming so don’t panic. All you’ll get if you click on a message that says “(Person X) has sent you (something). See your gift at Giftify(dot)me” is a picture of said “gift”. Annoying, but not the end of the World.
Unlike the end of the News of the World. You can see what I did there.
Christopher Boyd (Thanks to Jovi Umawing for sending this one over.)