The Latest in IT Security

The Dark Side of Social Media

07
Dec
2011

On December 6 2011, a number of pro-Kremlin activists launched an attack on Twitter using bots which posted messages with a hashtag #???????????? (Triumfalnaya). These bots posted a range of national slogans and crude language. With a rate of up to 10 messages per second, these bots succeeded in blocking the actual message feed with that hashtag.


The reason to boycott the conversations surrounding the pre-arranged #????????t??? (Triumfalnaya) hashtag was that it had been announced as a channel for exchanging information by anti-government opposition protesters, and was also been used as a live text translation on protestor actions against the recent election results in Russia – which are taking place at Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow.

Below is a list of possible bots, many of which may be compromised accounts:

  • berk
  • ?????? ????????
  • Jeje89
  • karyn
  • Armalda Balistreri
  • Tiernan Magers
  • aretha
  • Scarlett Rotz
  • pascale
  • ?????? ?????
  • benedict
  • Player Heine
  • alisa
  • Matrona Severson
  • ?????? ???????
  • Oberon Buechner
  • ???-??????
  • Polinski Leinen
  • ?????
  • alden
  • savannah
  • Fornof Ruf
  • Clower Provencher
  • Thorne Brager
  • shay
  • ?????
  • brett
  • Levy Valois
  • velma
  • Kellyn Slavin
  • Holden Petro
  • mercedes
  • kenyon
  • holmes
  • ????????
  • ???? ??????????
  • amber
  • Undry Vantassell
  • tanek
  • timon
  • avram
  • erin
  • price
  • jessica
  • Octavius Cauffman
  • piper
  • ????-???
  • ?????? ??.
  • charity
  • claudia
  • amos
  • veda
  • Stokes Correira
  • heidi
  • ??????? ??????
  • Dietsche Downer
  • orli
  • Magnum Shimmel
  • ronan
  • Lydon Eskola
  • devin
  • chantale

Twitter has always been used as a effective communication tool for coordination, such as during natural disasters; and for the world to remotely keep track of key events. These recent attacks show how the same technology can be used to for one side of a debate to attempt to silence the other side – the equivalent to one group having loudspeakers.

Whether the attack was supported officially or not is not relevant, but we can now see how social media has become the battlefield of a new war for freedom of speech.

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