Twitter has filed suit against five people as part of a campaign to stop the spread of spam on its microblogging service.
The company said that it would file charges in a San Francisco Federal Court against individuals who have been posting spam on the service and also building and distributing spam tools.
Twitter alleges that the defendants have been building and distributing web-based applications which allowed users to circumvent Twitter's anti-spam tools and make mass-postings on the service.
The lawsuits, say the company, are part of an effort to shut down the ecosystem associated with Twitter spam rather than just target the users who post the unwanted tweets.
"With this suit, we’re going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal," the company said in a blog post.
"Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter."
While spam has not been as prevalent on Twitter as it has on other social networking platforms, the company has previously had to deal with spam campaigns. Users have abused the service not only for marketing efforts, but also to spread malware.
Experts believe that social networking platforms will be heavily targeted by cybercriminals in the coming years.
Researchers have noted that the increased trust associated with social networking profiles can make phishing and spam operations far more successful than conventional email tactics.
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