Twitter PSA: Delink Spymaster

Dave Zatz —  May 31, 2009 — 5 Comments

spymaster-twitter1

TechCrunch covered the Best Video Twitter worm yesterday, but seems to have missed the equally insidious opt-in Spymaster game. Unlike Facebook silliness, once authorized, Spymaster is much more in the face of your followers – freely tweeting game updates. Not only will you end up spamming your followers, your @mentions queue will fill up with Spymaster-related tweets.

spymaster-twitter

Spymaster may be for some folks, but it’s not for me. I prefer my games played with a joystick and on the plasma. And while I’m occasionally indulgent with an off-topic Twitter post, I respect my followers too much to partake.

So shortly after realizing Spymaster’s gameplay implications, I set about delinking them from my Twitter account. Spymaster’s FAQ doesn’t make it clear how to sever ties, a direct message to @playspymaster went unanswered, and a query on TechCrunch garnered no responses.

spymaster-twitter2

The good news is that I’ve found the simple solution and Twitter OAuth appears to work as billed. Instead of giving up our credentials, as we have in the past with third-party apps, Spymaster and Twitter are linked via OAuth (with your authorization). Once you’ve established an OAuth relationship, a new settings tab appears on Twitter itemizing these services. To assassinate Spymaster from your Twitter account, visit the Twitter website and:

  • Click Settings
  • Click Connections tab
  • Click Revoke Access

Click to enlarge:

Bonus coverage: For those interested in tracking Spymasters viral success (while in beta), the short URL service they utilize (Bit.ly) publicizes stats. Visit http://bit.ly/info/playspy to see the total number of click-thrus categorized by geography.

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5 responses to Twitter PSA: Delink Spymaster

  1. “…not only will you end up spamming your followers, you’ll notice your @mentions queue fills up with Spymaster tweets…I respect my followers too much to partake.”

    I built a dedicated spymaster account, for that exact reason. Consider doing the same, as a way to just check the game out.

    “…The good news is that I’ve found the simple solution and Twitter OAuth appears to work as billed. Instead of giving up our credentials, as we have in the past with third-party apps, Spymaster and Twitter are linked via OAuth.”

    Woot! We can all thank Eran Hammer-Lahav for that. He wrote OAuth on his own personal time, and has gave it way for free. That’s instant “Internet Hero” status in my book.

    And to the subject of SpyMaster’s “viral” nature, I do not fault them for how they approached new user adoption, in fact, on a purely technical aspect, I admire it. In no way am I apologizing for the semi-aggressive nature of the game spreading, but I do want to stress the bigger picture.

    Today, in Activity Streams infancy, we may see some less than optimal methods, SpyMaster being a great example – but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Play the part of the professor during college final exams and give SpyMaster what you consider an appropriate grade – just don’t expel them for trying.

    I respectfully ask that if you end up not likely all the SpyMaster machine generated activities appearing in your Twitter account, you take the appropriate action ( detailed quite clearly in the above post ) to decouple your SpyMaster activities from Twitter.

    If you are not playing SpyMaster, and keep getting machine generated auto DMs to join someone’s spy network, please take the time to jump over to the SpyMaster web site and write a quick note to the developers, asking them to dial the “Import your entire Twitter friends list” feature back a bit.

    If we impulsively over react to these early attempts at harnessing the power of Activity Streams, we may end up missing out on a future implementation that has real value.

    Activity Streams are going to fundamentally change the nature of personal computing, I hope SpyMaster doesn’t delay that revolution.

    ( Disclosure: I do *not* work for iList Inc. and have *no* personal association with its owners or employees )

  2. I sãs following the so called digg founder Kevin Rose and Jr hás been spamming spymaster for some time now. Unfollow course. Great article!

  3. In response to a Twitter note: To block #spymaster noise from others you may want to look into Macworld editor Jason Snell’s method of scripting external Twitter client filters. (Would be nice if this functionality were built directly into Twitter.)

    http://www.macworld.com/article/138566/2009/01/twitterrific_applescript.html

    Also, NO I am not giving away invites, will not add you to my clan, etc. ;)

  4. Hey guys,

    For those who don’t want to play Spymaster, we actually do have an opt-out process in place that will stop you from getting invite DMs. See http://playspymaster.com/optout .

  5. Hey I’m a web developer and I used some good spycraft skillz to figure out how to earn money and climb the levels without having to do anything. It’s no risk and you don’t even get any tweets in your timeline.

    I earned £300k in my sleep last night and rose 3 levels!

    If you’re Mi6 (I’m no traitor) and want to do it too, follow me [http://twitter.com/neilcrookes] and wire £73,600 to 1638929872920.

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