Twitter’s edit button could be used to SCAM users by letting authors update links on viral tweets


Twitter’s new edit button could 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 allow people to have up to 30 minutes to edit tweets.

However, several experts have said the long-demanded feature could be used for malicious acts due to how quickly certain types of tweets can spread. 

‘It’s true: Edit Tweet is being tested by our team internally,’ the company said in a blog post. ‘The test will then be initially expanded 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, following the announcement of the new feature this week

'It’s true: Edit Tweet is being tested by our team internally,' the company said in a blog post . 'The test will then be initially expanded to Twitter Blue subscribers in the coming weeks'

‘It’s true: Edit Tweet is being tested by our team internally,’ the company said in a blog post . ‘The test will then be initially expanded to Twitter Blue subscribers in the coming weeks’

Rachel Tobac, CEO of SocialProof Security and an ethical hacker, said what she fears could go wrong with the new feature.

‘Somebody will tweet something that says, “These two celebrities just started dating,”‘ she told the Washington Post. ‘It goes viral. Fifteen to 20 minutes later, they go in and they change that to a crypto scam, a phishing link, voting disinformation.’ 

This is very problematic for Twitter, where the speed of going viral is much more heightened than, say, on Facebook. 

In April 2013, a hacker managed to send out a fake tweet from the Associated Press account saying that President Barack Obama had been injured in an explosion at the White House. The tweet immediately racked up more than 4,000 retweets and sent the S&P 500 down by 0.9% – wiping out $130 billion in stock value in seconds. 

'Somebody will tweet something that says, "These two celebrities just started dating,"' Rachel Tobac told the Washington Post. 'It goes viral. Fifteen to 20 minutes later, they go in and they change that to a crypto scam, a phishing link, voting disinformation'

‘Somebody will tweet something that says, “These two celebrities just started dating,”‘ Rachel Tobac told the Washington Post. ‘It goes viral. Fifteen to 20 minutes later, they go in and they change that to a crypto scam, a phishing link, voting disinformation’

'Like any new feature, we’re intentionally testing Edit Tweet with a smaller group to help us incorporate feedback while identifying and resolving potential issues,' Twiter said. 'This includes how people might misuse the feature. You can never be too careful'

‘Like any new feature, we’re intentionally testing Edit Tweet with a smaller group to help us incorporate feedback while identifying and resolving potential issues,’ Twiter said. ‘This includes how people might misuse the feature. You can never be too careful’

Tobac said that even though the feature could have benefits, she believes it will also add to the spread of false information. 

Evan Greer, director of digital rights organization Fight for the Future, said she’s taking a more wait-and-see attitude. 

‘There are always tradeoffs with changes to content moderation systems on major tech platforms,’ Greer told DailyMail.com. ‘Twitter should take steps to prevent this new feature from being abused. 

‘But in the end, this is also why we need lawmakers to pass the antitrust bills S. 2992 and S. 2710 that crack down on Big Tech monopoly power, so that if Twitter’s edit button ends up being a disaster, people have meaningful choices and can find another social media platform to go to 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 could easily be used by crypto currency scammers. 

'There are always tradeoffs with changes to content moderation systems on major tech platforms,' Evan Greer told DailyMail.com. 'Twitter should take steps to prevent this new feature from being abused'

‘There are always tradeoffs with changes to content moderation systems on major tech platforms,’ Evan Greer told DailyMail.com. ‘Twitter should take steps to prevent this new feature from being abused’

‘A lot of people are underestimating the abuse potential of an edit button. Recently looked at a massive cryptocurrency scam that was supported by automated editing of a verified FB page’s posts to create a legit-looking brokerage,’ Stamos wrote on Twitter. ‘The abuse state diagram here is massive.’

Stamos added that the people who crave an editing button the most are a ‘subset of people who think trust and safety is easy’ and that if tech workers were just ‘more ethical/smarter’ the problem would be solved. 

TechCrunch’s Amanda Silberling points out that even though editing tweets could resolve some problems, if people only see the incorrect tweet and don’t see the fixed version, they’re likely to believe whatever they first saw.

Jay Sullivan, Twitter’s general manager of consumer and revenue product, 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 will impact the way people use Twitter,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘This will help us identify and resolve potential issues, including how people might misuse this.’

‘Like any new feature, we’re intentionally testing Edit Tweet with a smaller group to help us incorporate feedback while identifying and resolving potential issues,’ Twiter said. ‘This includes how people might misuse the feature. You can never be too careful.’ 

On April 1, Twitter did send a tweet saying it was working on an editing button. 

Several days later, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is now embroiled in litigation with Twitter to undo his $44 billion purchase of the social network, tweeted a poll asking if users wanted an edit button. The response was overwhelmingly in favor, by a margin of 73.6 percent to 26.4 percent. 

Twitter Blue is currently only available in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk