Twitter Faces Mounting Challenge of Suspicious Dropshipping Accounts Amidst User Decline

Twitter is losing users after the launch of Meta's Threads, a competing social network. At the same time, Twitter is facing an alarming rise in fake dropshipping accounts. These accounts all look the same with the same information and pictures. In addition, they promote sketchy products through paid tweets on Twitter.

You can quickly identify these accounts because they have bright, generic pictures and odd names like "Zono," "Bumoo," and "Vena." They all lead to similar online stores with inflated prices and product descriptions copied from reputable websites like Alibaba. Twitter's algorithm gives preference to Twitter Blue subscribers. As a result, users continuously encounter these dubious accounts as ads in their timelines and replies.

The advertisements feature a variety of items, like T-shirts and clothing. They also include peculiar household products such as self-folding umbrellas and dog sprinklers. A quick investigation shows that these goods have been taken from other websites, with watermarks either erased or obscured. This practice aligns with dropshipping. In this process, third-party stores sell poor-quality items that they do not physically stock. They do so by utilizing false claims and charging excessive rates.

A Twitter user named Finix Flynx, operating the "Storescams" account gathered attention for tracking and exposing these dropshipping accounts. Flynx compiled a list of more than 1,200 accounts, examining the social connections of popular drop shippers. While Twitter has suspended some of these accounts, many continue to exist with vague names like "Wozze" and "Miolty." Moreover, a new set of such accounts have emerged. These newly found accounts mainly target populations that speak Japanese and Korean.

The Twitter accounts lead to almost similar store websites, often run by Trendytowns Pte Ltd. It is an e-commerce company based in Singapore. Reports indicate that Trendytowns has become one of the leading advertisers on Twitter after numerous brands departed after its acquisition by Musk. It shares a non-existential U.S. address oddly linked to a private home in Arizona. Some websites claim to have "home offices" in London and Denver too. But, it appears that these places are not real based on available public business records.

Musk's promise to combat spam and verify real users has fallen short. After removing the moderation staff, Musk gave access to everyone to purchase "verified" checkmarks. This decision further exacerbated the issue of spam on the platform. A lot of these accounts use paid tweets to boost their content, often showing up in users' feeds and replies.

These accounts have also been found to sell items featuring stolen artwork and copied Amazon reviews. Despite users' efforts to report them, Twitter's mismanagement under Musk's leadership has allowed such accounts to persist.

Twitter has been struggling with a decrease in users, which has been worsened by the popularity of Meta's Threads platform. Despite being seen as mundane and focused on brands, Threads has attracted considerable interest. Musk's amplification of transphobia and white supremacist conspiracies has also caused users to switch to alternative platforms such as BlueSky.

As spam and dubious content continue to plague Twitter, users are still working to find and report these strange store accounts. However, due to Twitter's continuous mismanagement under Musk's leadership, it seems that there are more similar accounts ready to appear.

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