Who Would Have Thought That Social Media Bad Could Get Even Worse?

I would have never thought that some things could get worse than the bad that they already were. Leave it to True Twit to accomplish such an amazing spectacle of foot shooting! This is so out of place in social media, almost as out of place as this bride and groom shooting at their wedding. If you are requiring your new followers to validate themselves, you are just about as out of place as these two!

I noticed recently that TrueTwit made some changes to their validation page regarding the captcha section. Now they force ads, have an out of control audio function and made the entire process more confusing and a real pain in the butt. Worse than before?  Oh yes! Even though I really have tried to be patient with misguided folks that use the service, as of last week I have stopped all validation with their system. See below:

At the same time I noticed the additional hoop jumping changes they made for us innocent twitter users to navigate, the volume of validation DM requests seems to have tripled. So I guess what some misguided folks are saying is that though they are too lazy to just look at peoples bio’s and timelines (which they should be doing anyway) they expect everyone else to do their social media work for them. Not this guy…  Not any longer…

Let me go over this again…  Starting a relationship out, whether on or offline, with a premise of distrust is not smart. Not only are you setting an obstacle to community growth and effectiveness, you are telling everyone that you do not know what you are doing, or worse that you are lazy!

Social media is about establishing and building relationships with your target market. Opening that dialogue with requirements and hoops makes no sense at all. We believe so strongly about this, that we literally view every followers bio, every time! That’s up to 150 per day. You need to know who is joining your community, decide whether it makes sense to connect with them and act accordingly.

Regardless of what you tell yourself, the arguments you use or the excuses you give, if you are using TrueTwit I guarantee your community size, effectiveness and time spent in social media is readily apparent to most of us. There is no such thing as auto-pilot when referring to effective social media. It takes work and time, just like in the offline world.

Make the commitment and do the work or remain misinformed or worse, a poser.


70 thoughts on “Who Would Have Thought That Social Media Bad Could Get Even Worse?

  1. So true! And this is the essence: “There is no such thing as auto-pilot when referring to effective social media. It takes work and time, just like in the offline world.”
    Great post. Thanks.

    1. on in the case of TrueTwit to the exact opposite by starting a relationship based on distrust. I chose to believe that most people use it out of ignorance, not laziness. But highlighted the lazy part in the post to drive home the point and drive AWAY their resulting lazy behavior.

      Thanx for the support David!


  2. Great point Robert! I just was reading the other day about how people block comments on Facebook and on their blogs – before there is even a problem. ‘Fans’ go in and have no idea they are being monitord until they decide to speak up and attempt to interact. Dont distrust until you have a reason to (good advice in life and in social media :) ).

  3. I despise True Twits as I was doing the validation for up to 25 accounts. Recently they’d really dropped off and I was seeing fewer and fewer. It was to the point that I would ignore them..(and felt guilty about it) but after reading your post, it makes sense to not even validate those followers and validate their fears, because that’s what we’d be doing. I say ‘goodbye’ as well. Nice piece! :)

  4. I decided a while back to ignore them. There is no point in making people take extra steps when following. It leaves a bad impression, and like you say, it’s not a good way to start a relationship. Nice post, Mr. Caruso.

  5. Great post. I have yet to connect with anyone using the TrueTwit service. I firmly believe it defeats the purpose of Social Media. You should take the time to learn about a person and how you want to connect with them, not installing a fence to keep people out.

  6. I can’t stand the TrueTwit service either – I mostly get it when I am looking at a profile to follow back – so they actually followed me first! If there were any sense to it at all, where is the sense in that?

    The same goes for people who follow me and then when I go to look at their profile to see if I want to follow them back it is a private profile :(


      1. Puhleeze…don’t get me started! Great post. But it was here, in your comment to Kittie that you really nailed it for me. I’ll take it two steps further. There’s no IQ test before you’re allowed to use social media in general. And there is absolutely NO test, of any kind, before someone calls themselves an expert or a guru. Grumble.

      2. lol Mallie, it’s gonna be alright. I choose to not let it bother me and lead by example and through these posts. It keeps me sane and focused. :-)

  7. You nailed me:
    “I chose to believe that most people use it out of ignorance, not laziness. But highlighted the lazy part in the post to drive home the point and drive AWAY their resulting lazy behavior.”
    I started using it a long time ago… but soon realized it wasn’t a good thing… but I was too lazy to cancel the service or even revoke the access… until today. So thanks for this post.. it got me off my butt.

  8. It works well. My other twitter acct gets virtually no spam. This new one I just cleaned out 10 spam profiles b4 realizing I don’t have to do this with my other acct because I use truetwit.

    1. If having virtually no spam without doing anything on your part is your goal over building relationships, you are doing awesome then. Unfortunately, you are alienating yourself from a ton of real people that refuse to validate anymore. Why should we put in effort to connect with you (validating) when you are unwilling to even check someone’s bio? Just something to think about

    2. Yikes and you teach social media to businesses??? Scary thought. I really suggest you rethink your strategy on what this medium is and the impact you’re having on you and your clients potential followers.

  9. Hi Robert,

    As promised on twitter this is my response to you.

    I received your tweet earlier saying you no longer validate with TrueTwit and it struck me that you do not recognize the reason that others necessarily use twitter with TT in your article.

    I use twitter as a conduit for sharing financial analysis and discussing financial markets with other like minded professional and private traders. Because my role first and foremost is to generate market analysis and to trade live in the global markets my time available for communicating on twitter is limited.

    Due to the money involved in this sector there are relentless and seemingly infinite numbers of spam accounts following me daily and filling my feed. The primary problem this caused is that I missed the correspondence that my real followers and peers were sending. The only way for me to circumvent this was to engage the TrueTwit service.

    TT is an annoying and ungainly service that I would much prefer not to use however without it twitter for me becomes useless as I do not have the time to curate a spam filled feed. Since using it I have found the quality of my interactions has increased because the people following me really want to and are willing to make a small sacrifice of their time in order to gain access gratis to timely pieces of my company’s proprietary market analysis that I share daily.

    I maintain that the basic tenets of your article make sense in theory in an idealistic mono directional social space however twitter has a myriad of uses for millions of folks and cannot be pigeon holed with such basic generalizations.

    If there is an alternative to using TT that will still allow me to use twitter effectively then I am all ears. For you to cast people like me requiring some order to their feeds as posers and presume using a filtering tool means one does not read new follower bios to ensure quality is simply ignorant or quite an arrogant assertion.

    You say yourself that you review up to 150 bios daily from new followers. Congrats on your popularity or marketing effectiveness however the very time you invest in this process is that I do not have as I run a company, trade financial markets full time and have a family that exists offline too.

    The tone of your tweet implies that I am in some way missing out due to your attitude towards TT however I suggest that the opposite is the case.

      1. Fair enough :) I think you should be open to considering social media as a little more of a dynamic medium capable of solving various, entirely different yet equally valuable solutions for different user groups.

        I think social media like twitter is not necessarily always a 50/50 split from a contribution perspective as many just follow for informative purposes rather than discussion. Twitter is not Quora and as a result expecting content providers to provide high grade research/opinion pieces whilst also bearing responsibility in full for curating incessant spamming from a feed reduces the overall incentive for the creator of value to share it. Those following should be prepared to load share too in a twitter relationship that is not evenly split in creative contribution as they are receiving the IP of another user gratis.

        Interested in your thoughts on why this view is able to be discounted entirely as irrrelevant to your approach. I am by no means a self professed social media expert and am certainly willing to consider alternative points of view and or that I have missed a salient point in the basic application of the social space. However from your article and response you are not articulating why I am wrong?

        I think when you say you disagree on my analysis and outlook on what social media is that you are presuming that I am trying to define a single direction for social media which I am/have not. I raise the question as to why it has to be defined and used in one universal manner?

        Is a small sacrifice made on the part of a social content consumer not preferrable to assigning a monetary value to content to offset the inconvenience posed to the creator which in turn reduces accessibility to information and knowledge to lower socioeconomic demographics?


      2. David,

        Thank you for writing such a lengthy comment. Let me be really clear here. I did not establish social media no come up with how the vast majority of users use it. I also did not come up with the “social” aspect of the medium. It was all here when I arrived.

        For the majority of average users of social media, it is about engagement and conversation leading to relationships, not a direct marketing pitch platform. My experience tells me that if you want to be effective, you will understand this and put in the proper time and effort required to make the platform effective this way. If you don’t HAVE the time, as you have indicated, I suggest either moving to another medium or hiring a social media firm that will take the necessary time.

        Taking the lazy way out and using things such as TrueTwit to force others to validate, rather than you taking the time to review bios and timelines is very novice and putting your work on others. It also says a lot about your understanding of the medium and willingness to build relationships.

        I wish you the best…


  10. TrueTwit is certainly going to turn away some interesting and engaging followers. I guess there are some that like to live in the gated community of the social media world. I don’t recommend it, but that’s their problem.

  11. I’m also troubled by them showing an ad in the captcha – I know you are trying to make money but really – is the captcha the best place for the ad? I’d be gone in 1 micro second – I don’t skip ads – I just leave.

  12. I don’t mind the TrueTwit service, or when people lock down their profiles so that i can’t see them. I think it is great that they want to follow me. If I cannot see something about them or follow them as easily as they can follow me, then I just don’t follow them. There are plenty of people out there who do want to be followed, so I just move on to the next person and don’t spend anymore of energy on it.


  13. Well said. I haven’t interacted with it much, but it is a huge put off. Like Kittie above, the first time I saw it I was actually trying to follow back someone who had followed me the day before and was in the same industry. Yet, instead of validating me based on the fact the other user already followed me, I had to go the the site.
    Why should I have to validate for each follow? Why not validate the user once? I guess it’s because true twit (aptly named) is just ad spam.
    I wouldn’t ask followers to validate through it, and I won’t validate myself either.

  14. I have to agree with Kittie who commented back in March… someone follows me and then I check them out to follow back and they want me to go through the hassle of TT… not happening! If you want to interact and be social then let’s just do it with out adding in a 3rd party… lol

  15. I don’t so much use it as I neglect it. I suppose that doesn’t say too much for me either. I remember a time when I was inundated with fraudulent accounts, though. I understand people wanting privacy, but there are few reasons for me to keep their multiple identities on Twitter. What is the source of the mistrust? I use my name: I’m not sure I want somebody called “torch_bearer” cluttering that space which I can barely read as it is. That may be why I did little more than throw up my hands when I saw TrueTwit imposing additional hoops on us. But I will consider everything that is said here: So many sites seem to be ruining their services with unneeded bells and whistles: But I also resigned myself to being in an age of what we called “more flash than function” back when it didn’t seem to refer to specific software products.

  16. Hi, Robert, I really don’t like TrueTwit and have not since I started tweeting. When someone follows me, I go and read their bio and look at a few tweets before I decide to follow back or not. Most of the time I get it right. A few times I get it wrong and then unfollow later. But I take personal responsibility for who I follow and follow-back. I don’t think validation services like TrueTwit are necessary or good.

  17. Hi Robert,
    Before this post I hadn’t heard of TrueTwit. After I read your post, awesome by the way, I hopped over real quick and now I see where you’re coming from.
    I think one of the aspects an offline and online business has in common is taking a personal approach in building relationships and this tool seems to take out that equation.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for letting me comment. : )

    1. Glad it was helpful for you. I get about 20 validation requests per day from True Twit users. Most just have no idea and are new to social media and on the surface sounds great. I wrote this post and now message it to every person that sends me a validation request. I was shocked and somewhat excited to see that about 20-30% respond and remove TT from their account.

      Small steps from one person, but hope it yields long term benefits for many!

      TY for the comments Corina!

    1. Thanx Greg. I hate it too. I have found that the majority that use it are simply newbies that don’t know any better. I have also found that educating them instead of just ignoring them is very valuable to a relationship. My guess is about 30% respond and remove it. Not too bad.

      Please do feel free to share it…

    1. I like to instead consider them newbies that just don’t know better. Most don’t have an intent to do wrong, they just don’t know. That’s why I try to help by sending this article to every single person that sends me a TT validation request. What they do from there determines what they really are. :-)

  18. Thanks for the heads up! I hadn’t heard of True Twit either but now I have it just seems utterly pointless unless you get hundreds or thousands of follows a day – in which case you’re likely a business who should be attempting to inspire loyalty (not distrust) or you’re a celeb/expert in field who probably wouldn’t deign to follow back anyway. I just don’t understand the need for this or what problem it ‘truly’ solves. Besides, bot-followers usually find themselves suspended by Twitter after not too long. I’m guessing this may have been invented by folk who just wanted to invent something they could pin adds to as opposed to a revolutionary new service. And yes, like you say, the inexperienced think it’s genuine insurance, social media being the big bad wild west of t’internet ‘n all that.

  19. Well put, Robert! Love this post!
    If they don’t want to take the time to see who is following them, why should we take the time and the trouble jumping through loops to prove we are real?

  20. Wow! Thanks Robert. I needed this…just recently, several people I’ve followed (because I reviewed their profiles and streams and found them to be interesting) have sent me auto-DMs asking me to validate myself first. It’s happening to several of my clients as well. I’m so glad you explained this. I’m not validating myself through this. I guess I just won’t be following these people. Oh well,their loss. XO

  21. I’m 100% behind the Author of this report. What really winds me up about true twit is the fact that I have to validate and validate and continue to validate. Over the last two years I have probably validated 100,s if not 1000,s of true twit requests. I tweeted them in February this Year and asked if I could be whitelisted so as not to have to keep on validating. I felt it was a fair and reasonable request to make but all I got back was a smug comment and a mouthful of abuse. They were not interested. I understand now that their business model is based on spamming innocent twitter users to generate advertising revenue. It makes my furious to see a true twit come on here and call us arrogant. If you use true twit remember you’re only 5% of twitter users at best, the other 95% of us look at you and see a complete idiot.

    1. I know it’s frustrating Henry. It’s important that we keep the proper perspective. Most that use it just don’t know better. Let’s face it, if you don’t understand social media marketing well, the premise of TrueTwit sounds great to a newbie.

      Our job is to lead and educate, not ignore or hammer. I find that about 30% of the people that use it and send me validation requests that I send this article to, see the light and stop using it.

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