Latest in Features

Image credit:

Use TextExpander and Twitterrific to avoid Twitter spam

TJ Luoma, @tjluoma
03.21.11
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links


If you post to Twitter and say the word "iPhone" or "iPad," you are likely to get hit with one of the rash of Twitter spammers who search through Twitter for people who post about those terms and @reply to them with some "deal" (usually offering you a chance to "win" a "free" iPad or iPhone).

I have been trying to remember to not say those words on Twitter, or to spell them differently, such as "iPxd" or "iPhxne," or use "lookalike" characters such as "¡Phone" (that's an inverted "!" instead of an "i"). I keep forgetting, though, and every time I do -- wham! I get more spam.

So I finally decided to let my computer do the thinking for me. I created a new "Group" in TextExpander, and I told it to only expand in Twitterrific (my desktop Twitter app of choice). Then I created two shortcuts: "ipad" and "iphone" and told TextExpander to ignore the case (so if I type "iPhone" or "iphone" it will match both).

Then I created my alternate spellings for each word.

Now I don't have to remember to purposefully misspell them for Twitter (and ruin my muscle memory for typing them properly in other instances), and I can avoid some of the Twitter spammers. I trust my followers are smart enough to know what I mean when I talk about my new iPāÐ!

Note: experienced TextExpander users may note that the color of the shortcuts above indicates a "conflict" for those two shortcuts. That's because I have "ipad" and "iphone" shortcuts in my "stable" group, which auto-capitalizes them correctly even if I don't type the capital "P" myself. However, when TextExpander finds a "conflict" between two identical shortcuts, it uses the first one that it finds, so my Twitterrific group (since it is listed at the top) will override my other shortcuts.

P.S. Happy 5th birthday, Twitter! I hope you fix your spam problem -- and the trending topic bar in your app, and stop treating third-party developers like unwelcome guests despite the fact that they are responsible for much of your success -- soon!

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Lebanon plans to charge a fee for internet voice calls

Lebanon plans to charge a fee for internet voice calls

View
California's Earthquake Early Warning system rolls out statewide

California's Earthquake Early Warning system rolls out statewide

View
Motorola invite hints at a 'reinvented' RAZR

Motorola invite hints at a 'reinvented' RAZR

View
Get $24 off the Nintendo Switch on Amazon

Get $24 off the Nintendo Switch on Amazon

View
Supreme’s burner phone is a hypebeast’s dream

Supreme’s burner phone is a hypebeast’s dream

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr