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Twitter admits it verified fake accounts

Twitter has admitted that it added its confirmation tag, intended to assure the public that an account is authentic, to a number of fake accounts run by robots. The platform’s tough confirmations come after the blacklist of high-profile conservatives such as James O’Keefe, who before the platform ban was denied verification of the platform despite a constant stream of fake accounts that mimicked him to confuse the audience.

9to5Mac reports that Twitter has incorrectly confirmed a number of fake accounts. This week, a computer scientist and Twitter user with the account name Conspirador Norteño pointed to six verified accounts that did not meet Twitter’s confirmation criteria that had received a blue check mark. All six accounts appear to be part of a botnet that posts Korean spam.

The Daily dot reports that Twitter has now admitted that they made a mistake in verifying the accounts.

“We incorrectly approved the verification applications for a small number of unauthentic (fake) accounts,” a Twitter spokesman said. “We have now permanently suspended the relevant accounts, and removed their verified mark under our Platform Manipulation and Spam Policy.”

However, Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former head of security, suggested that the mass verification could have been an internal job. “You can have a malicious or bribed inside,” Stamos tweeted. “Something similar happened on IG (paid for by spammers, in that case).”

Stamos updated his tweet and added: “UPDATE: I have heard that they ruled out a malicious insider. Looking forward to hearing about what happened. ”

Breitbart News has previously published a complete guide that explains how to spot fake accounts across social media. Interestingly, Twitter seems capable of accidentally verifying random bot accounts, but not able to verify legitimate conservative figures.

Investigative journalist and founder of Project Veritas James O’Keefe was permanently blacklisted by Twitter in April this year. Breitbart News wrote at the time:

James O’Keefe, the founder of the investigative journalism organization Project Veritas, has been permanently blacklisted by Twitter, just as his organization releases bombshell undercover footage showing senior CNN employees admitting to using “propaganda”. @Project_Veritas, the organization’s official account, has also been suspended.

In a comment to Breitbart News, a spokeswoman on Twitter said that the suspension was permanent. This comes right after O’Keefe and Project Veritas publicly shamed the left-leaning news network CNN.

Twitter has also “incorrectly” censored journalism from Project Veritas, which revealed that thousands of immigrants were forced to sleep in cramped quarters at a detention center in Texas after the implementation of Joe Biden’s immigration plan. Breitbart News reported:

Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe posted a video with a collection of photos on Twitter Monday morning. The video was immediately hidden behind a filter that claimed the content was “potentially sensitive”, requiring users with the sensitive content filter to click through the warning message to view it.

A Twitter spokeswoman told Breitbart News that the “potentially sensitive content” warning was “misused on one of our automated tools and has since been removed.”

Read more on Breitbart News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News, which covers issues of freedom of expression and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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