Twitter's blue check verification was mistakenly given away to multiple fake bot accounts with an insignificant number of followers and no tweets at all.

Twitter Adds Blue-Check Verification to Multiple Fake Accounts—How Did They Fool the Process?
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BRAZIL - 2021/06/08: In this photo illustration a Twitter logo is seen on a computer screen through a magnifying glass.

A data scientist carrying the name Conspirador Norteno on his account goes on to tweet about the odd incident involving six users.

It is to note that Twitter recently re-opened the verification process to get the highly-coveted blue checkmark, which prominent personalities, such as politicians, celebrities, and public figures flaunt.

Upon its re-launch, the application has become open to everyone. However, Twitter only accepts it if the registering user is strictly a figure in entertainment, activism, government, and journalism.

Later on May 28, the Twitter verification application to get the blue mark had to be halted as the number of submissions have become overwhelming.

Twitter Blue-Check Verification and Multiple Fake Accounts

Now, after a few months have passed since Twitter has opened its verification process to everyone, some bot users have found a way to manipulate the system, and get the coveted blue checkmarks.

 

PCMag reported that the data scientist who unveiled the scheme noticed that all of the fake accounts with blue checkmarks existed since June 16, all from that same day.

Interestingly, these users only flaunted a follower count at about the 1000 range, which Norteno noted were the same people whose accounts only started existing in the platform from June 19 to 20.

Nevertheless, Norteño revealed that Twitter still awarded six of the bot accounts a verification marker, which supposedly means that the users are prominent and legitimate figures.

Related Article: Coronavirus: Twitter Fast Tracks Profile Verification to Help Identify Authoritative Voices on COVID-19 Outbreak 

Twitter Suspends Verified Fake Accounts

As per The Register, Twitter has already admitted to committing the mistake of verifying accounts that do not meet the qualifications.

The spokesperson of the microblogging website said that they " have now permanently suspended the accounts in question, and removed their verified badge, under our platform manipulation and spam policy."

Fooling the Verification Process?

Twitter further explained the details of the process to The Register, saying that the verification is handled by region. As such, some locations reward accounts with blue marks more swiftly, which ends up verifying undeserving users.

The outlet noted that all the accounts involved in the odd incident were using the Turkish language.

The data scientist also said that all of the bots involved were displaying an icon that was AI-generated. Thus, the image does not exist elsewhere on the internet, making it seem an authentic photo.

Additionally, most of the tweets that the bot users wrote are Korean spams, which was spread through an automation service called dlvr.it.

Meanwhile, Alex Stamos, the Former Head of Security of Facebook, suggested that the incident could have been brought upon by a bribed insider, giving away the blue checkmark for a fee.

Read Also: Twitter vs. Misinformation: How Twitter Will Handle Social Media Misinformation with Warning Labels

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Written by Teejay Boris

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