“But there is evidence that Twitter may have been used even more extensively than Facebook in the Russian influence campaign last year. In addition to Russia-linked Twitter accounts that posed as Americans, the platform was also used for large-scale automated messaging, using “bot” accounts to spread false stories and promote news articles about emails from Democratic operatives that had been obtained by Russian hackers.
Twitter has struggled for years to rein in the fake accounts overrunning its platform. Unlike Facebook, the service does not require its users to provide their real name (or at least a facsimile of one) and allows automated accounts — arguing that they are a useful tool for tasks such as customer service. Beyond those restrictions, there is also an online black market for services that can allow for the creation of large numbers of Twitter bots, which can be controlled by a single per . . .”
It is time to regulate severely Twitter and Facebook, and any social media that is willing to allow foreigners to pose as Americans to poison or influence elections. Twitter allows bot accounts, and it allows people to join while concealing their real identity. Russians should be banned from these outfits until after the next presidential election, while we sort out how to monitor their social media espionage.
These revelations are execrable. It should be as hard to get a twitter account as it is to get a drivers license. And laws should be passed so that these social media companies can be sued for damages for fake news and fake users. They should be made liable for the harm they are allowing to our democracy.
David Lindsay, InconvenientNews.wordpress.com