Social media behemoth Twitter appears to be cracking down on cryptocurrency scam accounts – however several members of the crypto-Twitter community have been caught in the cross-hairs.
Responding to a tweet by Cornell professor Emin Gün Sirer, CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey wrote that “we are on it.”
The statement drew some quick critiques given that, in some recent days, a number of twitter accounts – including the support team for cryptocurrency exchange Kraken – reported that they had seen their accounts restricted despite trying to warn others about copycat accounts that mirror well-known industry members.
Kraken’s loss was temporary, with the ban eventually lifted, according to later tweets, after Dorsey’s account became the target of community rancor.
But other influencers on the network such as Brooke Maller, aka @bitcoinmom, have not been so lucky.
As Mallers tweet explained, her account appeared to have been shadow banned – a method in which an account is rendered unviewable by others, despite the user not knowing that they’ve been hidden – which often prompts comments from other users.
She reported to CBNN:
“Folks just started DMing me that they couldn’t see my tweets. It would say ‘tweet unavailable.’ Others said they are not getting notifications when I tweet messages. But still no word from Twitter. There is some seriously weird shit going on for cryptoTwitter people right now. A slew of permanent bans and suspensions.”
Neeraj Agrawal, director of communications at D.C.-based think tank CoinCenter also reported having trouble with his twitter account, although it appears to have been reinstated as of this writing. Several Twitter users who often use and promote Ripple’s XRP token have also tweeted about the shadow bans throughout their networks.
The issue of copying verified Twitter accounts to fool cryptocurrency users has become more and more prevalent this year.
Many of the threads we are discussing begin with an influencer issuing a tweet, after which a similarly designed account will then tweet out some “offer” of free cryptocurrency – provided that an initial amount is sent to a listed address they provide.
In order to make the posts seem more legit, other spam accounts (often bots) will then post supportive, ancouraging messages, stating that they have already received payouts.
More recent post activity indicates that those behind the spam accounts are using shortened URLs to hide wallet addresses, indicating that Twitter’s anti-spam efforts are now scanning for that type of information.