The newest report from LunaCrush, a social intelligence platform for cryptocurrencies, reveals that crypto-related spam on social media increased by a whopping 3,894%, making it the fastest-growing metric on social media. Twitter perhaps has been hit the worst by this plague, as it established itself as the key platform for the crypto industry.
All of us have probably encountered spam accounts on Twitter at least once. It’s literally everywhere, as it continues to be profitable, especially for people in developing countries. Fake giveaways, phishing attempts, and aggressive promotions of unheard shitcoins really impede the use of the platform and put at risk the users’ funds and privacy. So, why did Twitter do nothing about it?
"For a web2 platform like Twitter, there is a direct incentive to turn a blind eye to fake accounts because it increases the value of their platform. In web3, if you have a tokenized incentives system, you want to have as many real users as possible who are holding the asset long term rather than trying to extract value from the community," LunarCrush CEO Joe Vezzani told Quantum Economics founder Matti Greenspan on the phone. But it’s not just a deliberate lack of action from Twitter. In fact, spotting spam is a really tricky task for algorithms, and most of them can be easily fooled by the least tech-savvy spammers.
“Every bot was created by a human and as you have noticed, there are a lot of them. More spam accounts than you would think are actually people,” the report reads.
The argument over the number of bot accounts on Twitter put on hold its takeover by Elon Musk. Initially, Tesla and SpaceX CEO announced the $44b worth acquisition on April 25 but then demanded a discount equal to the percentage of users who are bots. Musk claimed that the number of fake accounts must be much higher than 20%, contrary to Twitter's assertion that just about 5% of accounts might be spam.
Billionaire announced that his primary goal is to restore the freedom of speech and purge Twitter of spammers. “A top priority I would have is eliminating the spam and scam bots and the bot armies that are on Twitter,” Musk told curator Chris Anderson at a TED conference in Vancouver. “They make the product much worse. If I had a Dogecoin for every crypto scam I saw, we’d have 100 billion Dogecoin.”
While it’s unclear how Musk plans to get rid of bots, LunarCrush proposed a concrete solution to the problem. The extension dubbed LunarCruch Sparks gathers users’ feedback on its curated feed and trains machine learning algorithm using collected data.
“Classifying posts at scale takes machine learning training to an entirely new level. As the community provides feedback, feeds will continually become cleaner and more accurate. In addition, your content can become increasingly personalized, giving you more of what matters to your most,” the company asserts. To encourage feedback, the algorithm will reward the most active participants with points, which then will be converted to Lunr tokens.
Until either Musk or LunarCrush solves the issue of spam bots on Twitter, we have to remain particularly vigilant. Stay safe and beware of scams, friends.