Twitter trends were found to be exploited by bots in Turkey

A recent report has revealed an unprecedented level of deception in Turkey. It was found out that among all the trending tweets, nearly 50 percent of them are bogus. The fault in Twitter trend algorithm resulted in the discovery of trends that are exclusively generated by bad actors.

Social media has played a huge role in impacting the lives of people. Previously, social media did not interfere in day-to-day life. But now, the widespread presence of internet has altered the way people connect with each other. Lifestyle has changed, thought process is changed, and ultimately way of life is changed. The aspects that were considered as inconceivable are now normal parts of everyone’s routine life.

One such example is Twitter trends that impact everyone uses Twitter. Twitter trends covers all the trending posts that were even popular once. It is kind of a notification that notifies people about the most famous words, topics, keywords, and hashtags across the world.

Distributed Information Systems Laboratory conducted a study that catches a flaw in the trending topics algorithm. It was discovered that the Twitter working system is at fault in detecting removals. It does not respond to the trends that were supposed to be taken down from the platform. This will make it easier for malicious actors to bring their trends forward instead of removing them.

In a cybersecurity conference, an author of the research stated that hackers tend to use both bogus and breached accounts to manipulate twitter trending posts. People who get manipulated and lost their account without even knowing are usually unaware of the fact that their profile is actively exploited to control top tweets. Even if they know, there is not much they can do with it.

The study found out that 47 percent regional trends and 20 percent worldwide trends in Turkey have been generated by these attackers. Around 108,000 bogus accounts were discovered, one of the largest collection of hackers detected from June 2015 to September 2019. Elmas added that they were the first one to identify large-scale alteration of Twitter trends.

Malicious apps, lottery promos, misleading information, racism, words full of hatred, and wedding proposals were among the uncovered fraudulent trends. The fact that Twitter trends are the most popular as compared to other social media hashtags, this kind of deception might have major ramifications.

The researchers tried to brought this issue in front of Twitter but they refused to respond and no improvements were made from their side. According to Elmas, still spamming trends can be clearly seen. If the issue will not get fixed any soon, the hackers will be going to employ the same strategy to spread fake trends.


H/T: MN.

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