Posted on October 3, 2018 at 4:05 PM
Just as the world superpower approaches its forthcoming midterm elections, Twitter has come out to announce 3 major changes in its rule of operation and usage. Users are forbidden by the new policies and rules from circulating or distributing materials that have been compromised by cybercriminals.
Change 1: Hackers’ Accounts now to be banned
Twitter has announced 3 crucial changes to the rules governing its site ahead of the forthcoming midterm elections in the US. The step is a measure taken by the social media platform to lock out intruders from tampering with the election process using the site. That aside, the measure also aims at reducing the rising amount of abuses and spams currently obtainable on it.
The first change that Twitter effected on its policies and rules has to do with the spreading of materials that have been hacked via the platform. Before now, Twitter had rules guiding against spreading or distributing hacked materials. The rules also explain in clear terms that distributing trade secrets and private information.
However, with this newly-released update to the rule, Twitter will now immediately ban accounts responsible for any act of hacking or that is threatening to. In fact, it goes to say that any person or group of persons encouraging hacking by way of giving incentives to cybercriminals will of immediate effect have their accounts banned.
It is amazing and rather puzzling that until now Twitter still keeps the accounts of hackers on its platform. Unless approached by a security outfit, it never thought it necessary to close down accounts belonging to identified hackers.
For instance, “The Dark Overload” is a group of notorious hackers having an account with Twitter. Up till recently, they still maintain an active Twitter account without any restriction. Not only do they utilize their Twitter handle to extort companies that have been hacked, but they have also made use of it severally in times past to make hacked data available online.
But with this modification in Twitter rules and policies which was done on Monday this week, frivolous accounts like this would now be deleted more quickly as they are detected. But lest anyone gets swayed into thinking that this policy modification is targeted at cybercriminals, the truth is that it has more to do with the upcoming midterm elections in the US.
To be specific now, accounts resembling those of DCLeaks appear to be the primary target of this policy change. In 2016, this website spearheaded the publishing of emails leaked from many US government’s key figures. It is yet to be verified what portion of the leaked emails is legitimate. But legitimacy or not, this kind of move will no longer be feasible on Twitter with the policy change.
Change 2: Closure of Fake Accounts
Apart from hackers’ accounts that Twitter is descending heavily on, it equally is not sparing fake accounts on its platform. Before now, fake accounts that are not involved in any spam-like activity such as the sale of substandard or inexistence goods are spared. or malicious activities. Of course, Twitter is leaving everyone to guess those things that belong to the malicious behavior category. It only disclosed that it had instructed its employees to be on the lookout for avatars stock images.
It equally said it had placed its staff on the alert that the accounts of anyone found to be using stolen avatars or profile descriptions that are geared at deceiving people should be closely monitored. The rationale for this according to Twitter is that these people might be affiliated to any of the hackers out there.
Change 3: Attributed Activity
The third change that Twitter made in its policy has to do with attributed activity. Similar to the other updates previously touched on, this one is also directed at fighting BOT networks capable of sponsoring an unwholesome agenda on the platform. In its Monday press statement, Twitter said:
“We are expanding our enforcement approach to include accounts that deliberately mimic or are intended to replace accounts we have previously suspended for violating our rules,” said Twitter in a press release on Monday, October 1.”
Twitter says that these 3 modifications to its operating policies and rules would empower its staff to crack down on hackers by deleting their accounts legitimately. Ever since the Facebook boss has been summoned by US Senate committee on intelligence gathering to brief it on US elections have been reportedly influenced by the Cambridge Analytical misdeed, many giants in the tech world including Twitter have been extra careful.