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Don't let porn slip into your Twitter following

If you're on Twitter these days, we have a song for you. It's from the Tony award-winning musical Avenue Q, and goes like this: "The Internet is really, really great ... for porn.''

For months, we've been noticing a growing problem with Twitter accounts that are created for no other reason than to promote pornographic sites online.

It's usually transparent when it's a porn account, because of the pictures and names. Like Hotsuzy_camgirl. Another clue is if the user has no posts and only a bio that directs you to a website.

If an account like that starts following you, it's best to immediately block it so it doesn't show up as one of your followers.

This can be a problem if you use software that automatically follows whomever you follow. If others look to see who you're following, the porn is apt to pop up.

That's what happened with MiamiandBeaches, the Twitter account for The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB). It was auto-following back users, and a few accounts, like Hotsuzy_camgirl and kitchesx88, slipped in.

David and Garcia PR in Miami gave us a call to see what we knew about it. So we got in touch with Carolyn Keating, who updates the account for the GMCVB. She said that while she had already stopped using an auto-following program on the advice of her marketing company, she didn't realize until we called her that a few bad eggs were in the mix.

"These things happen,'' said Keating, who went in and blocked all the problematic accounts. "Unfortunately, it was a maintenance issue.''

Keating said she now plans to check the site every day. That's a big-time commitment and maybe more than you have to devote to Twitter. But at the very least, you should comb through your followers regularly, blocking accounts that are suspicious and checking out others' bios before you click "follow.''

Have you learned some social network lessons the hard way? Post a comment below or ask us your social media questions at Poked@MiamiHerald.com.

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