Twitter, one of the world’s largest and most vibrant social media platforms, will be privatized after Elon Musk’s offer of approximately $43 billion was accepted by the board of directors.
Elon Musk to Cleanse Bots
Less than a week later, Elon Musk’s primary priority is to weed out bots and authenticate all platform users in a move the CEO of SpaceX and Boring Company said will make “Twitter a better place”, open for everyone, including critics.
The decision to sanitize Twitter’s social space from bots is welcomed. It is especially so in crypto Twitter, where their impact, proliferating scams, and spamming are evident.
If they adopt this cleansing policy and extensively implement its proposal, Twitter communities, including the ever-vibrant crypto sphere, will be guaranteed that all interactions have human endpoints without spambots notorious for perpetrating identity thefts and scams on behalf of deployers.
In the past few years, leading personalities in crypto, including Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum, Bradley Garlinghouse of Ripple Inc., and more, have had their accounts cloned and used to execute phishing attacks and other illegalities costing users thousands, if not millions of their valuable cryptocurrencies.
User Authentication: Which Way Twitter?
It is, however, not clear how Twitter will “authenticate” users. Observers weigh in that if the now private social media giant would, for instance, introduce Captcha images requiring users to click on images or check-boxes. This approach won’t present problems to the masses from a legal standpoint. Captcha images and boxes are already being used as authentication in other systems.
If, however, Twitter decides to demand personal identifying information such as driving licenses, that would portend more problems for the company. Twitter has millions of users, and if all of them comply, the risk of a data leak would be immense.
Also, it is not clear whether some Twitter users have access to the verification documents demanded. As a global platform, some users won’t have the required gadget to even upload them, walling off many users.
Although Twitter under Elon Musk could institute tight data storage measures, previous hacks have been labeled as “troubling”.
Besides, a huge chunk of active social media and Twitter users are operating using pseudonymous and even fake accounts.
It could be a protectionist measure against governments’ surveillance from authoritarian regimes cracking down on critics. Alternatively, it could be because of the thrill of indulging freely, airing their views without fearing being judged by others.
How Twitter proceeds with its user authentication journey will undoubtedly be closely monitored.
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