Today Twitter was hacked. Some of the largest accounts on the site have been taken over and issued tweets asking for bitcoin donations. Targets include , Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Uber and Apple. Twitter says it’s looking into the source of the attack but there is bound to be major fallout. Twitter is one of the largest messaging platforms on the internet and the direct messages of all accounts may have been exposed.
An effect of the attack is that no verified users are able to tweet. Anyone with a blue checkmark is unable to share tweets or updates. Some users have created secondary unverified accounts but it’s difficult to tell what’s authentic and what isn’t.
The bitcoin network shows that many people fell for the scam and sent money. Transactions are technically public although it can be difficult and sometimes impossible to find out who’s behind a given address. An early peak at transaction logs shows more than 200 transactions of various sizes. Some as large as $150,000 in Bitcoin (BTC). There will be little recourse for victims of this scam because there’s currently no way to undo a bitcoin transaction.
This is certainly the largest hack Twitter has ever seen. The site has been under immense pressure lately as it’s executives have been called to capital hill to testify. Twitter recently hired an ex-FBI deep state attorney to represent them in future proceedings. James Baker has been picked up by Twitter to be it’s new General Counsel. Baker has a long history in the public eye after being reassigned away from the crossfire hurricane investigation in December 2017.
Section 230 immunity allows some online sites to exist as platforms and avoid responsibility for the content users post within. In exchange for acting as a utility and being open to everyone, they are granted protection from being liable for the content of their user’s posts. The immunity was meant to nurture emerging internet businesses and to overrule a judicial precedent that rendered online platforms liable for all third party content on their services if they restricted any harmful content at all.
Suspicious precursers have been discovered now that the hack has taken place. Notorious only personality Kim Dotcom posted a poll 12 hours before the hack took place, asking what people would do with a “God Mode” feature on Twitter.
Critics have pointed out that Facebook, Twitter, Google and others have engaged in rampant censorship and implicit bias. All kinds of users, including President Donald Trump, have experienced hiding of their posts and accuracy warnings. Google is in a nasty spat with Zerohedge and The Federalist over demonetization from the Google Ads program, citing lack of moderated comments.