A few days ago, Twitter announced plans to begin tracking users via their mobile phone number, a measure that the company consider necessary in order to fight the trolls. Following the official announcement. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo explained the difficulties the company is facing to prevent the abuse of its platform.
“We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” Costolo wrote in a memo obtained by The Verge. “It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.” said Costolo.
Twitter announced the adoption of a series of measures to eliminate harassment and any other behavior that violate company policies, following the CEO’s declaration the company has begun forcing Tor users to provide a number in order to create a new account. The measure is to prevent that ill-intentioned would open a large number of new accounts to use for malicious activities.
Those used that will open a new account via Tor will have to provide their mobile number, the information could help Twitter to track trolls.
“The U.S. company doesn’t mandate its users to associate their account with a mobile number — that’s optional — but its new security system will use short-term suspensions to get the digits of serial trolls. The idea here is to find something identifiable that can be used to trace them if they open new accounts, as many serial abuses do.” reports a blog post published by TechCrunch website.
The users could verify that in order to open a new Twitter account using a common browser it is enough to provide an email address, meanwhile to do the same process surfing through the popular anonymizing network it is necessary to submit a phone number for SMS verification.
Unfortunately, Tor does not enjoy a good reputation in the causes of the many abuses of anonymity offered by its network. Foe example, in December a non-public report realized by the US Treasury Department found that a majority of bank account takeovers exploits the anonymizing the Tor network. We must not forget that the network is a valuable tool to access the network for those who are subject to censorship and fear that revealing their identity can cause serious problems, even endanger their lives.
“Forcing all new accounts to provide directly identifiable data — such as a phone number — is a risk to those that need to keep a low profile.” continues TechCrunch.
(Security Affairs – Twitter, Tor)