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Twitter’s edit button can be used for SCAM users by allowing authors to update links on viral tweets
Twitter’s new edit button can be used to scam users with links to fraudulent websites.
The social platform’s test of the feature for Twitter Blue users – who pay $4.99 per month – would give people up to 30 minutes to edit tweets.
However, several experts have said that the much-requested feature can be used for malicious acts due to the speed with which certain types of tweets can spread.
“It’s true: Edit Tweet is being tested internally by our team,” the company said in a… blog post. “The test will then initially be extended to Twitter Blue subscribers in the coming weeks.”
Twitter’s new edit button could be used to scam users with links to fraudulent websites, some experts fear, after the new feature was announced this week
“It’s true: Edit Tweet is being tested internally by our team,” the company said in a blog post. ‘In the coming weeks, the test will initially be extended to Twitter Blue subscribers’
Rachel Tobac, CEO of SocialProof Security and an ethical hacker, said what she fears could go wrong with the new feature.
“Someone will tweet something that says, ‘These two celebrities just started dating,'” she told the Washington Post. “It’s going viral. Fifteen to twenty minutes later they go in and turn that into crypto scams, a phishing link, disinformation about voting.”
This is very problematic for Twitter, where the rate of going viral is much higher than on Facebook, for example.
In April 2013, a hacker managed to send a fake tweet from the Associated Press account stating that President Barack Obama had been injured in an explosion at the White House. The tweet immediately garnered more than 4,000 retweets and sent the S&P 500 down 0.9% — wiping out its $130 billion stock value in seconds.
“Someone will tweet something that says, ‘These two celebrities just started dating,” Rachel Tobac told the Washington Post. “It’s going viral. Fifteen to twenty minutes later they go in and turn that into crypto scams, a phishing link, voting misinformation.”
“Like any new feature, we’re intentionally testing Edit Tweet with a smaller group to help us process feedback and identify and resolve potential issues,” Twiter said. “This includes how people can abuse the feature. You can never be too careful
Tobac said that while the feature could have benefits, she believes it will also help spread false information.
Evan Greer, director of digital rights organization Fight for the Future, said she is taking a more wait-and-see attitude.
“There are always trade-offs with changes to content moderation systems on major tech platforms,” Greer told DailyMail.com. Twitter must take steps to prevent this new feature from being abused.
“But ultimately this is also why we need lawmakers to pass antitrust laws” S.2992 and S.2710 who are cracking down on Big Tech’s monopoly power so that if Twitter’s edit button becomes a disaster, people have meaningful choices and can find another social media platform that suits their needs.”
Alex Stamos, former chief security officer for Facebook and the director of Stanford’s Internet Observatory, explained in a tweet thread how the Twitter editing tool can be easily used by cryptocurrency scammers.
“There are always trade-offs with changes to content moderation systems on major tech platforms,” Evan Greer told DailyMail.com. ‘Twitter must take steps to prevent this new feature from being abused’
‘Many people underestimate the abuse potential of an edit button. Recently looked into a massive cryptocurrency scam backed by automated editing of the posts of a verified FB page to create a legit-looking brokerage,” Stamos wrote on Twitter. “The abuse status chart here is huge.”
Stamos added that the people who most crave an edit button are a “subset of people who think trust and security is easy” and that if tech workers were just “more ethical/smarter,” the problem would be solved.
Amanda Silberling of TechCrunch points out that while editing tweets might solve some problems, people are likely to believe what they first saw when people only see the incorrect tweet and not the fixed version.
Jay Sullivan, Twitter’s general manager of consumer and revenue products, said the company was well aware of the potential for bad actors to abuse the feature.
“We’re starting small so we can better understand how edited tweets affect the way people use Twitter,” he wrote on Twitter. “This will help us identify and resolve potential issues, including how people could be exploiting this.”
“Like any new feature, we’re intentionally testing Edit Tweet with a smaller group to help us process feedback and identify and resolve potential issues,” Twiter said. “This includes how people can abuse the feature. You can never be too careful.’
On April 1, Twitter sent out a tweet saying it was working on an edit button.
Several days later, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is now embroiled in a lawsuit with Twitter to undo his $44 billion purchase of the social network, tweeted a poll asking if users wanted an edit button. Response was overwhelmingly in favour, by a margin of 73.6 percent to 26.4 percent.
Twitter Blue is currently only available in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.