Author Rocky McGredy writes weekly FIVE THôT.
Twitter is fuckin’ ridiculous. I mean besides the list of obvious reasons why Twitter is ridiculous (YOLO, etc.), there is one glaring problem in general that really infuriates me about Twitter: it appears to be really easy to exploit Twitter accounts.
I feel like I get a message on Twitter, maybe three times a week, that has obviously been sent out by a bot that’s trying to hijack my account. Generally the messages read something like, “OMG did u c this pic of u? bit.ly/f4k3l1nk.” Does that sound familiar? Yeah, you’ve probably seen a direct message that looks exactly like this.
Now, I’ll admit, it’s a little frustrating that this happens; but it’s certainly not astonishing. For every five legitimate users, there is at least one hacker out there. That’s a completely made up statistic, but the point I’m trying to demonstrate is that there are always going to be people who try to exploit a system when notoriety is attached to it.
There is value in having a large network on Twitter, and there’s always going to be some scammer who tries to cheat their way into having a large network. That’s not my issue, because I feel like there’s nothing I can do to prevent that. No matter how much I unsubscribe, I’m still going to get spam e-mail. No matter how many times I put my number on the do not call list, there’s going to be some telemarketer who calls me, etc.
I guess it’s not twitter that infuriates me, I guess it’s just that trapped feeling that I get. Knowing that someday, no matter who I am, no matter how much I try to protect myself from these things.... I’m bound to have some part of my identity exploited by some idiot who can’t even manage to properly structure English grammar.
I’ve been on the Internet since I was probably eight years old. My trajectory through the Internet has not necessarily been a clean one. We leave little splinters of ourselves all over the place. Accounts that we never cancelled, profiles that we never took down, e-mail addresses that we no longer use. All of these things are targets.
I don’t mean to sound like a paranoid Internet privacy freak. I certainly don’t think I’m extremely susceptible to hackers. I use non-simple passwords, don’t link my debit card to payment accounts, secure my Wi-Fi network. I know that none of my information would be useful to international spies, but being constantly surrounded by susceptible people, having the exploits of the hacker delivered directly to my inbox, it makes me feel like it’s just a matter of time before my twitter account is DM’ing all of my friends about great online places to buy dildos.
Just a thought.