Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has promised in the past that Twitter would become a platform where people can feel safe. Unfortunately, it hasn’t gotten a whole lot better. People, women and minorities especially, still face harassment on Twitter, and too little is done when they come forward with complaints, leaving them silenced and afraid to speak at all. Twitter was used to stage GamerGate, targeted harassment of women in the gaming industry, it’s being used by white supremacists to spread hate and organize, and reports of this hate have largely gone unstopped until it becomes large enough for Twitter to step in. I myself, after a tweet of mine went mildly viral, found myself using Twitter’s report tool. The man child who was targeting me was banned for a few days, and he was automatically blocked from accessing my profile, but little more came of it. I’m sure he’s unbanned now and spreading his hate like nothing had happened. This is all too common, and doesn’t stop Twitter from becoming a toxic place.
Some people hurt the president’s feelings and were blocked on Twitter. Turns out Donald Trump may have violated their first amendment rights by doing so.
Say you’re the president of the United States (POTUS). You won the Electoral College election, but lost the popular vote by a wide margin. Most Americans do not want you to be the president of the United States. You don’t have any political experience, you have archaic social beliefs, you’re a poor orator, you’re violating the emoluments clause of the constitution, you’ve got suspicious ties to a foreign government, you’ve criticized freedom of the press, and perhaps worst of all, you’re quick to anger. What do you do if people start commenting on your Twitter posts in ways that contradict your statements with facts or mock your inexperience? You block them! That’s what you do if you’re @realDonaldTrump, you block the mean people saying
true mean things about you. But the president of the United States needs to have a level mind and thick skin. They need to respond to criticisms, the voice of the people, in a dignified manner, not silence them. By shutting down a means of communication between the electorate and the public forum that Donald Trump himself set up willingly, Trump silenced voters. Turns out, that could be a violation of their First Amendment rights.
Today I learned that it is rather easy for someone to call the provider & change your SIM. The hacker got the account verification texts.
— deray mckesson (@deray) June 10, 2016
The best form of two factor authentication is an app, but for many developers and customers, the easiest form is to use plain old text messages. One hacker found a way around this, though it requires users to have a bad or leaked password and no security for their SIM card from their carrier. Here’s the problem: those SIM cards come with a default pin code, the last four digits of your Social Security number, which can unfortunately be found quite easily since it’s been used as an identifier for American citizens and there have been numerous data leaks that have revealed these numbers. As such, if a hacker can get your password and the last four digits of your Social Security number, they can get into your accounts. A 4 digit pin isn’t very secure, but you can increase your security by changing it to a random number, one that’s not already tied to your identity. Fortunately, this isn’t difficult. Unfortunately, if you don’t change it, getting into your account and hijacking your phone number wouldn’t be difficult either. That could not only break the security on your cellular account, but it could also make all of your other accounts vulnerable.
As if LinkedIn and Myspace hacks weren’t enough, 32 million Twitter accounts have been leaked. But don’t panic just yet, Twitter itself wasn’t hacked. Twitter security is quite strong, employing salted and hashed encryption for passwords. This ensures that, even if hackers gain access to Twitter’s servers and download their passwords, they still won’t be able to read users’ passwords, because they’re strongly encrypted. Are the leaked passwords valid? According to LeakedSource, the same site that has revealed other such hacks, they are. LeakedSource validated 15 of the hacked accounts. We’ve also seen passwords revealed by LeakedSource in other hacks, notibly Drake’s Twitter.
The hacked passwords came from the same person who hacked Kremlin-owned social network VK last week. The hack includes over 32 million email addresses, user names, and passwords, and can be searched for using LeakedSource’s search engine (make no mistake, LeakedSource are not the “good guys” in this story, they make a profit). So if the leak is real, and Twitter wasn’t breached, where did the login information come from? Likely from Malware infected browsers like Firefox or Chrome.
I guess Drake isn’t a Leaf and Core reader. If he was, he would have known that Myspace was hacked, and that he should change his password. Millions of Myspace passwords were leaked, and one of them happened to belong to Drake. According to the hacker who took over Drake’s Twitter, Aiden, the rapper used the same password for Twitter as he did for his Myspace account, only with different capitalization. Those leaked passwords are 3 years old, and Drake is still using the same passwords. Not only that, but changing how words are capitalized is not enough to protect an account. As such, Aiden was able to gain access to Drake’s Twitter account.
An account parodying Russian President Vladimir Putin was banned from Twitter today in what some are calling censorship. It seems as the government, or those acting on behalf of Putin’s government, may have asked Twitter to ban the account @DarthPutinKGB for mocking the Russian leader. The account makes fun of Putin’s fight against freedom of speech and the press, the 146% of the vote he received in 2011 to “win” his presidency, the Putin-Trump similarities (and bromance), and Russia’s habit of occupying other countries and its annexation of Crimea. Twitter allows for parody accounts, though, like his fellow foreign Trump supporter, Kim Jong Un, with a personality like Putin, it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between Putin and a parody of Putin.
3D Touch is a fantastic iPhone 6s feature. It adds a whole new layer to your interaction with your iPhone. I love using it for a variety of apps, but often when I expect to find an app or feature that should have homescreen gestures or peek and pop, I’m disappointed. As such, I’ve just about forgotten about the feature, and I rarely use it outside of the apps I already know have the feature, like Safari and Mail or the Camera and Settings app on the homescreen. One of those apps that was always sorely lacking support for 3D Touch gestures was Twitter. Anything with a list view should make use of peek and pop. Some apps, like Reddit, for example, would benefit from this feature. Twitter had a unique need for peek and pop though. Clickbait is spread through social networks, especially Twitter, with its tweet character limit, many tweets come off as clickbait without intentionally trying to be ambiguous. Even photos are cropped on Twitter, forcing people to click on the image or the linked article itself to see the full image. Now, iPhone 6s users can help cut down on clickbait, by simply peeking at articles or images with a firm press. Pressing could kill clickbait.
You can simply update your Twitter app to get peek and pop on Twitter. Perhaps you can use it to avoid clickbait… or maybe it’ll feed your addiction. Perhaps I should have titled this post “This new Twitter Feature will Change Your Life.” But it likely won’t. In fact, like many 3D Touch features, you might even forget it’s there. Hopefully it becomes a regular part of your Twitter use though.