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[liberationtech] twitter spam / porn bots affecting visibility?

Jillian York jilliancyork at
Thu Feb 2 01:24:23 PST 2012

This is an interesting thought; I heard similar ruminations from the #flotilla crowd and them just today spotted a tweet suggesting same for #Tibet. I've been vocal that Twitter itself does not censor hashtags, but this gaming of the system could explain the complaints.

My understanding of how TTs work suggests this could be plausible, particularly if the spam accounts go unreported and are not identified as such. I'd be interested in hearing from Twitter on this.

Sent from my iPad

On Feb 2, 2012, at 10:44 AM, Ale Fernandez <skoria at> wrote:

> Hi,
> Yesterday a lot of people tweeting as Julian Assange was in court found their twitter feeds followed by lots of spam bots with identical or repeating profiles and avatars. I heard during the beginning of occupy wall street that this was used to affect the TT status of hashtags (like #occupywallstreet - in the end many the first days used #takewallstreet), by making twitter label associated tweets in the "conversation" also as porn or spam.
> Does anyone know more about this, and if it's been confirmed by twitter or someone analysing the whole thing - that it would make sense for someone to use these bots so as to affect the visibility of problem hashtags - or is it just "normal" spam?
> I know from an IRC bot that was cataloguing the first tweets across various OWS hashtags, that there were a few of these spam bots in operation those first weeks.
> Ale
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