Pity the spammers: they are past their prime. Email spam, now decades old, is hopelessly archaic. To keep up, the modern spammer must adjust to new platform after platform, each more limited and ephemeral than the last.
So of course there is Twitter spam.
Purzue is a résumé-building app. Its founders, Davinder Singh and Richard Zeitz, brag that their aim is "to become the simplest (and maybe even fun) way for people to make an awesome résumé." Right now, they do this by spamming people on Twitter. Perhaps you associate spamming with professional job-seeking strategy; I do not.
Purzue's tactic is simple — it uses some sort of bot to auto-tweet in response to key words on Twitter like "job" or "résumé." If you asked them, Purzue's team would probably describe this as "responsive marketing":
Purzue uses responsive marketing with Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook Purzue will often start a conversation and then continue it after someone else starts commenting or asking questions. On Twitter Purzue looks up a particular hashtag and sees who is talking about things like “resumes” or “finding a job” and then responding to them, continuing the conversation.
Let's see what a conversation with Team Purzue looks like, shall we?
Regrettably, Purzue deleted another conversation — in which it responded to a racist joke with a chirpy comment about job-seeking — before I could screencap it.
Purzue's plan relies on two phenomena: stupidity and indifference to sleaze. Purzue relies on stupidity the same way that those Nigerian Prince emails do; they pester 1000 people to take advantage of the outlying 1 or 2 who are dumb enough to fall for their pitch. In this case, Purzue relies on the stupidity of people who think it is a good idea to load all of their personal information into an online app run by people who market via spam. Purzue relies on indifference to sleaze as well; they use a sleazy automatic tactic to spam thousands, knowing that people are so hardened to online rudeness that some will not be put off by it.
When we're stupid, or when we're indifferent to online sleaze, we encourage more bad behavior. Don't encourage bad behavior. Don't use services like Purzue that employ scummy marketing tactics. And if you get a Purzue-generated resume from a job applicant, throw it in the trash.
Edited to add: Adam Steinbaugh notes a good one:
Second edit: A reader managed to screencap the racial reference discussed above before they deleted it:
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