Twitter Admits That It Gave Bots a Blue Checkmark

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Twitter acknowledged, on Monday (12), that it definitively suspended a “small number” of fake accounts that had improperly obtained the blue verification seal of the social network. All of the profiles in question were created on June 16, about two weeks after the microblog reopened its profile verification request review program.

According to the Daily Dot website, the recognition of the error came only after the data scientist, who calls himself “Conspirador Norteño”, exposed the accounts on his Twitter, showing that none of the reported profiles posted a single tweet. In addition, at least two of them displayed profile photos clearly taken from image banks.

Questioned by the Daily Dot, Twitter admitted that it “mistakenly” approved requests to verify the profile of a “small number” of fake accounts. The statement also states that the company “permanently suspended the accounts” and removed the verification seal following the “platform and spam handling policies”.

Twitter verification failures

The report shows that Twitter’s new profile verification process is having serious problems. Relaunched on June 1st, the system promised to follow a series of eligibility criteria, including the acceptance of all platform rules and activities registered in the account in the last six months.

However, Norteño was surgical in his denunciations against the social network: his investigation revealed 976 followers with suspicious characteristics (all created between June 19 and 20), in addition to a large number with profile photos generated by artificial intelligence. To sum up, the scientist claims that the reported accounts were part of a botnet, with at least 1,212 fake profiles. See below:

Despite the measures taken, it is worrying to know that Twitter only acted after an autonomous researcher filed the complaint.

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