The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please)

Posted on | September 12, 2013 | 158 Comments

Chadrick Shmitt MD,” “Melisa Howe II,” and roughly 5,000 more such accounts — zero Tweets, zero followers, names mismatched with handles, fake avatars, generic bromides as profile info — came swarming onto my account Wednesday night, following me in batches:

“You have 58 new followers!”

“You have 38 new followers!”

Go out to smoke a cigarette, come back 10 minutes later and there’s the message: “You have 863 new followers!”

Inquiries were made, and it turns out that this same troll-tactic harassment phenomenon has also been used in recent days against the Twitter accounts of John Hoge and Aaron Walker, who happen to be my co-defendants in a lawsuit filed by Brett Kimberlin.

Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Evidently, this tactic is used to try to get someone’s account suspended: A troll buys fake followers for his targeted enemy’s account, which then makes it easier to then get the target account suspended. Considering that I’ve got 20,000+ real Twitter followers and run a high-activity feed, the troll had to buy thousands of fake followers in this sabotage effort, and they need to be deprived of this resource.

So, if you are one of my real Twitter followers, please re-Tweet the headline and link to this post, so that Twitter can delete the fake accounts: Roughly the 5,000 most recent accounts to follow me are all fakes. These fake followers were piling up faster than I could block them, even with mass-blocking software programs, and it should not be incumbent on the target of such vicious tactics to go through this trouble. Twitter security needs to delete these fake accounts as soon as they are exposed as such.

Twitter should delete these  5,000 or so fakes — which would re-set my follower count to around 23,000 — for starters, and then undertake an investigation to find who is responsible for this. Some people are so evil they should never have access to the Internet.

UPDATE: The do-nothing policy of @TwitterSecurity:

Twitter’s official impotence and apathy about these problems have permitted criminals to terrorize law-abiding users. They should be ashamed of themselves for tolerating — nay, actively abetting — the commercialization of fraudulent online criminal behavior.

It will not be enough for them to delete these fake accounts, although they can and should do so immediately. Twitter must investigate the persons responsible for creating such accounts — who evidently broker them — and take legal action against these fraudulent menaces, so as to prevent anyone else from profiting from this kind of evil.

 

Comments

158 Responses to “Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please)”

  1. princy_lyn
    September 12th, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

    RT @ali: Reading: Dear @Twitter Security (@safety): Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) via @rsmccain http://t.co/TRUv97Xz6I

  2. KevinRCousins
    September 12th, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

    [email protected] Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/BDRQDwLUSG

  3. atempdog
    September 12th, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

    RT @rsmccain: Hey, @TwitterSecurity: Just in the past 45 minutes, an additional 1,100+ NEW fake accounts have followed me. http://t.co/Ebxd…

  4. camelopardalis
    September 12th, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

    Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/KUw1BnyeZP

  5. kjcopp
    September 12th, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

    RT @rsmccain: Hey, @Alyssa_Milano: Can you please ask your friends at @Twitter to do something about this fake-follower plague? http://t.co…

  6. yidwithlid
    September 12th, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

    RT @rsmccain: FAKE ACCOUNT -> @BergnaumBobbie_ <- one of THOUSANDS that @twitter permits to harass honest users. http://t.co/pkLq8Ek9AE

  7. K-Bob
    September 12th, 2013 @ 5:36 pm

    I tried to read your comment, but all I see is

  8. K-Bob
    September 12th, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

    I scrolled and scrolled on twitter (which I only log in to about once a year) and couldn’t find something to Retweet, so I logged back out.

    Twitter is only interesting at one or two removes. Up close, it’s worse than being forced to stare at someone’s cold sore at dinner.

  9. LaurenC_Lux
    September 12th, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

    RT @ali: Reading: Dear @Twitter Security (@safety): Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) via @rsmccain http://t.co/TRUv97Xz6I

  10. Dlock9976
    September 12th, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

    RT @ali: Reading: Dear @Twitter Security (@safety): Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) via @rsmccain http://t.co/TRUv97Xz6I

  11. scg1102
    September 12th, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

    Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/adhQXjpH7U

  12. rmnixondeceased
    September 12th, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

    Go away f*cking troll … 1 comment (above), no follows, no following, no upvotes, twitter link to a brand new loathsome twitter account.
    Try to be more inventive next time. Your blatant assclownish behavior betrays you every time.

  13. TxMike254
    September 12th, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

    Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please)
    http://t.co/HUouHoSoQv

  14. Can @Twitter @Safety Prevent This? : The Other McCain
    September 12th, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

    […] someone at Twitter paid attention and about 10,000 fake followers got scraped off my account, but there are still about 3,500 that need to be zapped. Twitter has got to do something to […]

  15. Finrod Felagund
    September 12th, 2013 @ 6:41 pm

    Go die in a fire, troll.

  16. Professor_Why
    September 12th, 2013 @ 6:41 pm

    Dear @TwitterSecurity: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/WHt1syPwge

  17. SwiperTheFox
    September 12th, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

    When I look at Twitter, I’m reminded of the classic Star Wars line about “a wretched hive of scum and villainy”.

  18. Bob Belvedere
    September 12th, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

    Don’t tell PITA.

  19. Bob Belvedere
    September 12th, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

    I find it very useful as a means of staying in touch with my Friends In The Ether. We all have lives and this way we at least can keep in communication.

    It’s also very useful as a tool to promote blog posts.

  20. FinanceTX
    September 12th, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/eywyMGlYoD

  21. hydar
    September 12th, 2013 @ 7:43 pm

    I’m REAL! #REAL I tells yuh!!!!!!! RT Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/oa3064LAcQ

  22. CyberRabid
    September 12th, 2013 @ 7:54 pm

    Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) : The Other McCain http://t.co/AK03dFNQ5Y

  23. CyberRabid
    September 12th, 2013 @ 7:54 pm

    Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/BbuJHnN3wx

  24. thatMrGguy
    September 12th, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

    Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/qK52Im43XZ

  25. CharlesTY
    September 12th, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

    RT @rsmccain: FAKE ACCOUNT -> @BeckerHaleyDDS1 <- another one of THOUSANDS that @Twitter permits to harass honest users. http://t.co/EbxdW…

  26. rfaulhaber
    September 12th, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

    RT @FinanceTX: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/eywyMGlYoD

  27. section9
    September 12th, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

    LOL!

  28. LeighLeigh
    September 12th, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

    My first account was suspended and is still suspended for the last 5 months!! I periodically try to get on the account to delete it, and I can’t…..My pug’s photo is in the twittersphere forever I guess….I have had two accounts suspended, even after joining TDGN….So I now post with a fake name, abstract photos and am very selective on what I tweet out there….With Twitter going public today, methinks they won’t last much longer when a competitor comes along that does better than they do.

  29. JRose1965
    September 12th, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

    RT @AmPowerBlog: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/qtmAiJoSzV via @RSMcCain #Trolls

  30. BeccaJLower
    September 13th, 2013 @ 12:27 am

    Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/PwXaQSRBVC via @rsmccain Plz RT! #tcot #teaparty

  31. rsmccain
    September 13th, 2013 @ 12:29 am

    RT @BeccaJLower: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/PwXaQSRBVC via @rsmccain Plz RT! #tc…

  32. Cheesestick
    September 13th, 2013 @ 12:37 am

    RT Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/SB1niYnteX via @rsmccain Plz RT! #tcot #teaparty

  33. MonitorAccess
    September 13th, 2013 @ 12:48 am

    RT @BeccaJLower: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/PwXaQSRBVC via @rsmccain Plz RT! #tc…

  34. Zilla of the Resistance
    September 13th, 2013 @ 9:00 am

    Coincidentally, my identity thieving impersonator trolls are back as well, but I don’t care because, well, I know some stuff that ain’t widely known yet but soon will be.

    The bad guys are losing and they know it, so they are freaking out and throwing their hissies. Their days of feeling powerful are drawing to a close and their hour of reckoning is soon at hand. No worries.

    I know about these things because I make it my business to know. You will see.

  35. AceofSpadesHQ
    September 13th, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

    RT @SissyWillis: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/eb01wp2Gba

  36. ConservativeVox
    September 13th, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

    RT @SissyWillis: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/eb01wp2Gba

  37. kain_teresa
    September 13th, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

    RT @SissyWillis: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/eb01wp2Gba

  38. McDebida
    September 13th, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

    RT @SissyWillis: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/eb01wp2Gba

  39. jackbrazen
    September 13th, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

    RT @SissyWillis: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/eb01wp2Gba

  40. VickiFry
    September 13th, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/UlOkaaegHL

  41. cortney_m
    September 13th, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

    RT @VickiFry: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/UlOkaaegHL

  42. kazoomike
    September 13th, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

    RT @VickiFry: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/UlOkaaegHL

  43. thejenn999
    September 13th, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

    Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/BUeIyx2PvR

  44. TracieLeaA
    September 13th, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

    RT @VickiFry: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/UlOkaaegHL

  45. MonitorAccess
    September 13th, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

    RT @VickiFry: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/UlOkaaegHL

  46. rwm52
    September 13th, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

    RT @VickiFry: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/UlOkaaegHL

  47. Crime Is a People Problem: Why @Twitter Must Prosecute Fake Account Makers : The Other McCain
    September 13th, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

    […] hard is it to miss this as a Twitter avatar? As thousands upon thousands of fake accounts — all of them evidently generated by an algorithmic software program — have piled on […]

  48. lolvincitomnia3
    September 13th, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

    RT @VickiFry: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/UlOkaaegHL

  49. RobRitchie
    September 13th, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

    RT @SissyWillis: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/eb01wp2Gba

  50. Guruzilla
    September 13th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    RT @SissyWillis: RT @rsmccain: Dear @Twitter Security: Kill These Fake Accounts (Real People RT, Please) http://t.co/eb01wp2Gba