Is this our first thread? Far from it, and we somehow doubt that this group of accounts repetitively posing the question "is this my first tweet [insert number here] ?" is anyone's first rodeo either.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
@ZellaQuixote We downloaded tweets containing the phrase "is this my first tweet" and filtered the results to replies where the entire tweet consists of this phrase immediately followed by a number and a question mark, yielding 10160 tweets from 5430 accounts.
@ZellaQuixote All 5430 accounts were created between October 13th and October 17th, and the pace is increasing. The accounts generally tweet their first "is this my first tweet [number] ?" tweet within 10 minutes of creation, which is why the creation date and tweet volume charts look similar.
@ZellaQuixote This network of accounts has been operating more or less around the clock for the last ~4 days, with occasional variance in volume. 93.5% of the tweets are the "is this my first tweet" reply spam; the remainder are a mix of Turkish tweets, porn, and gibberish.
@ZellaQuixote Who do these 5430 accounts reply to with "is this my first tweet [number] ?" A lot of different accounts, as it turns out - 6371 to be precise, 5421 of which (85.1%) are Turkish-language.
@ZellaQuixote We're not really sure what the numbers in the "is this my first tweet" tweets mean, but they (so far) range from 500 to 998, and as far as we can tell are randomly distributed across that range.
@ZellaQuixote One more data point in the direction of these 5430 accounts not being entirely legitimate - they steal photos from the internet and reuse them across multiple accounts. We found that 2754 of 5430 accounts (so far) used the same photo as another account in the botnet.
@ZellaQuixote @WhyFactsMatter This botnet continues to grow - 1315 additional accounts have been created since this morning, bringing the total to 6745.
@ZellaQuixote @WhyFactsMatter Another 1275 accounts were added to this botnet overnight, bringing the overall size of the network to 8020. #FridayFeeling
@ZellaQuixote @WhyFactsMatter Third update - on the bright side, Twitter has suspended 5778 of these bots. Unfortunately, whoever is behind these accounts is continuing to churn them out - 5015 are still active, almost of all of them created subsequently to the original set we studied.
@ZellaQuixote @WhyFactsMatter A few more of the "is this my first tweet" bots have been removed since this morning, but mostly more have been created: 6049 total accounts, up from 5015 earlier.
@ZellaQuixote @WhyFactsMatter It's Sunday morning and this botnet continues to expand - 900 new accounts since last time we checked, bringing the running total to 6949. #SundayMotivation
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