One article that caught my attention throughout the week was a New York Times article that discussed how automated “bot” accounts on Twitter and Facebook have started popping up and impersonating various different people, stealing their name and photos etc. The article goes into how accounts will impersonate real people and spread fake news and images, and often times the companies behind them such as Facebook and Twitter do nothing to stop these imposters. According to article writer Nicholas Confessore these companies make it so that any person can sign up for an account, but don’t have to prove their identity until they are being looked into.
The article addresses how Facebook has begun to make more of an effort in shutting down automated “bot accounts” and Mark Zuckerberg has even noted how “the company [Facebook] has nearly doubled the number of workers who review content for fake news and abuse, including impersonation”. While Facebook has started making strides to protect their users, Twitter has done nothing of the sort. Firoozeh Dumas, as Irianian-American memoirist who lives in Germany, reported to Twitter of at least four accounts impersonating her, however, according to Twitter the accounts did not meet its definition of abusive impersonation. Companies have even begun selling fake accounts to a wide range of people, promoting these imposters behavior.
One thing I found so interesting about this article is how accessible it is to make bots. Anyone can pose as someone else and many times these companies are not doing anything to stop it. After watching Catfish and now reading this article, I have begun to see how careful one must really be. On any of these sights people can pose as people completely different from their actual self. The amount of “bots” that are surfacing through these different social media accounts is almost scary. While you may think you are being safe, it is becoming increasingly hard to know if someone is posing as you, and even if someone is, it is apparent that the process to get rid of them is very tedious. This article extends on the idea of catfish and how while people may not be posing as someone else to get someone to fall in love with them, they can be spreading false information and promoting different people.