#FamiliesBelongTogether Robotic Attack this Week

Tim Chambers
Jul 1, 2018 · 8 min read
Screen capture of Twitter Search Earlier this Week

This week bots and cyborgs resurfaced.

These are fully or partly robotic social accounts pretending to be fully human.

Imagine instead how one hostile sailboat racer crosses over another sailboat and steals its wind. That was what these attacks were like.

Users created hashtags that “optically” looked almost identical to the true hashtag. The near-doppleganger hashtag was #familesbelongtogther. Look closely, as this new hashtag excludes the second “i.” Easy to miss. They also used other variants of misspelling of protest hashtags (#KeepFamilesTogether, etc) but this was the central one.

Auto Fill Search Results in Twitter Last Week Showing the Decoy Hashtag as second most recommended
Example of Misspelled Decoy Hashtag
Top 10 Twitter Accounts Using Decoy Hastag the Most Often in 24 hours

Needless to say, humans don’t post at these rates, these posters are at least cyborg accounts if not full bots.

Of the top 25 hyper-tweeters of this decoy hashtag only 3 wrote original posts. The other 22 posted retweets of what appear to be mostly human posts. Some from verified government accounts, some from legitimate activist accounts. But ALL of the retweeted content used the misspelled hashtag, seemingly accidentally.

Top Hyper-Tweeters of Decoy Hashtag
Larry Brillaint

Tim Chambers

Written by

Technologist, writer, Co-Founder of Dewey Digital. Fascinated by new tech enabling new politics and vice-versa.