Coinedict reported on the 29th of August that Twitter was actively removing accounts that engaged in ‘coordinated manipulation’. The article details Elon Musk’s response to the news as he was previously targeted by fake Twitter accounts that claimed to be him and ‘giveaway free ETH and BTC’.
It would now appear that the entity behind these malicious attempts at scamming people have targeted someone with a more significant following than Elon Musk, Pope Francis. The bots that have targeted Pope Francis are a part of a larger entity that has set their sights on many high profile individuals with a large following.
A fake Twitter profile of Pope Frances posted a tweet on the 30th of August claiming to giveaway Bitcoin (BTC). The tweet in question had been artificially boosted to appear as a top-ranked result and was posted from a misleading handle was named ‘@_Poontifex’ which holds a close similarity to the official account of Pope Francis which is ‘@Pontifex’.
The fake account in question is still active on the social media giant and is yet to be taken down. The most ironic aspect of the fake account is that its first tweet was, in fact, a retweet of Elon Musk sharing an article based on him.
In a blog post published by Twitter on 24th July, Yoel Roth and Rob Johnson addressed some of the concerns regarding spam and malicious automation. The blog post details a resolution to the issue and mentions,
“On September 10th, 2018, we will be adding new default app-level rate limits that will apply to all requests to create Tweets, Retweets, likes, follows, or Direct Messages. This change represents a significant decrease in the existing rate of POST activity allowed from a single app by default. Any policy-compliant developer can maintain existing levels of access or gain elevated access through a new request process.”
Judging by the blog post, we would have to wait till at least the 10th of September to see if any difference is observed with the number of fake accounts and bot activity that is rife on the social media giants platform.