Twitter Scams Cost Millions, Solutions Are Emerging Though!

  • People have lost over USD 5 million (in ether) to so-called ‘trust-trading’ scams.
  • There are now technological solutions intended to combat Twitter fakes.

    Ever since crypto became seriously big business towards the end of 2017, Twitter in particular has been inundated with fake accounts impersonating notable crypto figures, promising to send crypto to other users so long as they send their own crypto first.
    Given all the publicity such scams have attracted since the beginning of the year, you’d be forgiven for assuming that the general public are wising up to them.

    However, the latest data from Etherscam and Etherscan reveal that people have lost over USD 5 million to so-called ‘trust-trading’ scams to date. And this only in ether. That said, a number of technical solutions are being proposed to weed out fake social media accounts, following complaints from the likes of Vitalik Buterin, a co-founder of the Ethereum platform, about the problem.

    Most recently, a Twitter fake gained attention by posing as Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla superstar and tech hero, who then took to Twitter himself to praise whoever tried to make a quick buck out of his good name:

    The fraud in question involved the fake account posting a link to an “Official ETH and BTC Giveaway,” but what was most interesting/alarming about its attempt at defrauding people was that its words were actually quoted by Sky News as if they’d come from Musk himself.

    This isn’t the first time a media outlet has confused a Twitter scambot for the actual person it impersonated. However, the latest mistake is a stark indication of how crypto scams are continuing to fool people despite their increasing notoriety.

    The Ethereum Scam Database tracks “trust-trading” scams, as it calls them. These don’t just cover the Twitter scams above, but also any fraudulent website or online account that asks people to send crypto in order to receive even more crypto in return.

    According to data from DirtyETH – which combines info from the Ethereum Scam Database with stats from – just over 530 of such scams have duped people out of ETH worth USD 5 million. And yet, given that ETH comprises about 17% of the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies, the total cost could be as much as USD 29.5 million.

    This is a big figure, and what’s surprising is that it’s being driven upwards by people who should know better, with one self-described “cybersecurity expert” reporting recently on Reddit that he fell victim to a Twitter scam that ripped off Andreas Antonopoulos, a Bitcoin evangelist.

    In the very same thread, another user indignantly criticised Twitter for failing to do anything to curb trust-trading scams, and also suggested to the original poster that they code “some second layer solution together.” And in fact, this kind of response hasn’t been restricted to Reddit, with various members of the Ethereum community calling for much the same thing.Fortunately, there are now a small handful of proposed technological solutions intended to combat Twitter fakes. One of these is MetaCert, a San Franciscan company that has built a blockchain-based platform that can verify apps, websites, wallets, and social media accounts. It has a browser extension called Cryptonite, which uses “Uniform Resource Identifiers” (i.e. confirmed identifiers of a particular entity, such as domain names and social media handles) to validate whether an account is genuine.

    Another is Scam Clerk, which is essentially a malicious activity detector that scans the user’s Twitter account for impersonators. Yet another is the Singapore-based Sentinel Protocol: a crowdsourced intelligence platform that can protect crypto holders against scams, for example by filtering wallet addresses according to whether they’ve been reported as malicious by users. Another comparable solution is MyCrypto, a general platform for users to manage their crypto that also enables them to check whether certain wallet addresses are on blacklists.

    And aside from these third-party ‘2nd layer’ solutions, it would also seem that Twitter itself is taking action against fake accounts. It has begun systematically removing millions of fake accounts and followers from its platform, and while it hasn’t specifically addressed the issue of crypto-giveaway bots, it’s highly likely that its culls will sweep away many examples of the latter.

    Of course, most of these removals will be reactive rather than preemptive, meaning that users will still need to be wary of any account claiming to offer ‘free crypto.’ So as the saying goes: remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

    Author: Simon Chandler
    Image Credit: iStock/TARIK KIZILKAYA

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Twitter’s Bet on Video Is Starting to Pay Off

The company is doing as good a job as anyone figuring out live streaming, a medium that has been slow to take off in the U.S.

Two years ago, even as its stock plummeted and takeover rumors swirled, Twitter Inc. was hatching a plan to become a force in live video. The company’s goal was to help users discover “what’s happening now.”

There were plenty of skeptics who said the battered company couldn’t possibly compete with deeper-pocketed rivals like Facebook Inc.
Yet Twitter has carved out a niche in the noisy world of video content and now streams a range of programming, from “Game of Thrones” recaps to National Football League highlights. It has attracted big advertisers, including Goldman Sachs and AT&T, that are buying video ads in the timeline or running brand campaigns next to live broadcasts.

Twitter is still dwarfed by Facebook and struggling to grow beyond 330 million monthly active users, but it’s doing as good a job as anyone at figuring out live-streaming—a medium that has been stubbornly slow to take off in the U.S.

 In the fourth quarter, the number of daily active users grew 12 percent, marking Twitter’s fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit year-over-year growth. The company also says video advertising is its biggest ad format and grew as a percentage of revenue in the same period. The stock has jumped more than 30 percent so far this year; when Twitter reports earnings next week analysts expect to see a continued surge in daily active users and accelerating sales growth as brands become more comfortable advertising on the platform.

“There isn’t a better place for live video to take place than on Twitter,” says BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield. The biggest challenge, he says, is making that content easier to find. “The onus is on Twitter to surface the video I want to watch.”

Twitter’s push into video essentially began when the company acquired Periscope in 2015. The live-streaming app is mostly separate from Twitter but helped inform the larger strategy, says Kayvon Beykpour, who co-founded Periscope and now runs the entire video operation.

“We had this early inkling that live broadcasting and live-streaming was a visceral, raw, powerful way for people to share what’s happening from the palm of their hand,” he says. Beykpour wants Twitter to be a “prominent place to share, whether it’s you on the street capturing or a professional publisher that wants to share content.”

Some industry watchers thought live-streaming in the U.S. might mirror what’s happened in China, where hundreds of millions of people tune in daily to watch quite ordinary people eat, apply makeup and go about mundane tasks. Viewers swipe through limitless channels, buying virtual gifts for their favorite streamers. But that approach hasn’t caught on in the U.S., which helps explain why Periscope has languished since Twitter bought it. The app lets anyone broadcast live video and interact with others via hearts and comments but has attracted only 2.8 million daily active users worldwide, according to an estimate from the research firm Apptopia Inc.

Instead, Twitter and other social media companies have tied up with professional content producers, including sports leagues and premium cable channels. Facebook’s Watch platform is starting to stream scripted series and recently paid $30 million-plus to stream 25 Major League Baseball games, Bloomberg reported. The games are only available on Facebook in the U.S., prompting complaints from those unable to view the action on their local television station.

Though Twitter managed to snag the rights to live-stream the NFL’s Thursday Night Football in 2016 for a reported $10 million, the company lacks the funds to continue spending on expensive licensing deals. Instead, it’s partnering with publishers—including BuzzFeed, Vox, and Bloomberg—that invest their own resources to create bespoke content for the social platform. Buzzfeed has said its morning Twitter show “AM to DM” has about 1 million viewers every day, and has attracted such advertisers as Wendy’s and Bank of America.

Twitter’s sports programing tends to be niche: Esports tournaments, lacrosse and women’s basketball games. Where Amazon outbid rivals to stream Thursday Night Football, Twitter partnered with the league to show live previews and highlights. It’s found a way to coalesce users around culturally relevant topics, without spending to produce that content itself. For example, Twitter struck a deal to live stream “Talk the Thrones,” a “Game of Thrones” after-show sponsored by Verizon with recaps and live commentary. The idea is to marry content with the discussion already happening on the site.

“More and more premium programming is becoming non ad-supported, with the rise of Netflix, HBO and Amazon,” says Matt Derella, Twitter’s global vice president of revenue and content partnerships. “After ‘Game of Thrones’ ends, there’s all this conversation on Twitter where brands can dive into the conversation.”

For the Oscars, Twitter looked for content that would augment the television viewing experience. This year, the company streamed a red carpet show before the awards ceremony began and footage from Vanity Fair’s celebrated after party.

It’s also encouraged brands to livestream content at events where there’s already interest from Twitter users. The annual Consumer Electronics Show generates thousands of tweets on the platform, and this year, Toyota livestreamed its keynote address on Twitter. The video, which can still be watched, has racked up more than 8 million views.

“All of our efforts want to tie the organic conversation on the platform with what’s happening in the world, whether it’s a goal in a soccer game, a news event or the Oscars,” says Twitter’s global head of content partnerships Kay Madati, a former Facebook executive.

As Twitter seeks to become a force in live streaming, its biggest constraint is size. Publishers looking for massive audiences have no choice but to consider YouTube and Facebook, which have more than 1 billion and 2 billion users respectively. Moreover, consumers aren’t used to watching long-form content on Twitter, so it’s difficult to hold their attention, says Jeff Ratner, Chief Media Officer of iCrossing Inc., a digital marketing agency.

“To date I haven’t seen a ton of clients push too heavily into advertising on live-streaming content,” he says. “The audiences have been inconsistent.”

Users also complain that Twitter doesn’t make it easy to find particular videos and live streams. Unlike Facebook, which placed its Watch platform in a separate tab on the site, Twitter’s goal is to surface relevant content to users all within the timeline.

Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey has said the company must do a better job matching users with content they’re interested in and that the platform is focused on using artificial intelligence to get better at personalizing timelines. Twitter still has a ways to go.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Author: Selina Wang 
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