Excellent work by the Evolve Politics site has identified a phenomenon that may indicate preparations for a slew of false complaints against Corbyn-supporting Twitter-users.
The ploy involves ‘cloning’ accounts in order to make them look like a particular authentic account, but using a capital ‘i’ instead of a lower-case ‘L’, making screenshots of the fake account’s tweets virtually indistinguishable from those of the genuine, copied account. Evolve tweeted a number of examples to illustrate how easily this can be done:
Evolve have had reports indicating that Corbyn-supporting Labour members are having their Twitter accounts cloned in order to grab screenshots of abuse.
If you have a lower-case 'l' (L) in your Twitter handle, the cloners are replacing the "l" with an upper case "i".
Please RT pic.twitter.com/BYeJ49HFTa
— Evolve Politics (@evolvepolitics) August 27, 2018
Such false accounts could be used to make abusive tweets and used as supposed evidence in a complaint.
If you have an ‘L’ in your account name, you could be vulnerable to this kind of attack – and you need to check that no ‘clones’ already exist. If not, the best protection is to set up Twitter accounts for any variants yourself so no one else can take them.
And of course, if your handle has a capital ‘i’ in it, the same effect could be achieved by a lower-case ‘L’, as a commenter has pointed out.
If anyone thinks of other possible variations that might be equally indistinguishable, mention them in the comments on this article.
Of course, any account is vulnerable to photoshopping of fake tweets, but the cloned accounts would have the added realism of generating actual traffic if anyone retweets, quote-tweets, likes them etc.
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