Twitter on Thursday turned to a US federal court in its latest effort to stop spammers targeting the worldwide one-to-many text messaging service.
Twitter sued a small cadre of what it described as "the most aggressive" culprits behind blitzes of messages ranging from junk promotions to frauds and even links to websites or files booby-trapped with viruses.
"Our engineers continue to combat spammers' efforts to circumvent our safeguards, and today we're adding another weapon to our arsenal: the law," the San Francisco-based firm said in a blog post.
"With this suit, we're going straight to the source."
The suit filed in a San Francisco federal court targets five spam-generating software programs and their creators, according to Twitter.
"By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal," Twitter said.
"Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers."
Twitter claims it is growing at a record pace, with 140 million active users. More than 340 million terse text messages, or "tweets," are sent daily, according to Twitter.
"As our reach expands, we become a more attractive target for spammers," the micro-blogging service said.
"While spam is a small fraction of the incredible content you can find on Twitter, we know just how distracting it can be."
Twitter engineers continue to ramp up the service's technical defenses, which include analyzing whether tweeted links lead to malicious content.
© 2012 AFP