Meet @SRRRJ, @Srm1n, @DemiLovatoTH, @banci__, and @gdibarry, a quintet of automated accounts that tweet CNN articles accompanied by partial headlines and tag @null (a suspended account) in each tweet.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
These five accounts presently send all of their tweets via automation service twittbot(dot)net. There are two distinct schedule patterns, so it's possible this is two separate botnets, but since the accounts are otherwise similar we analyzed them as a single network.
What does this botnet tweet? It's quite single-minded: all recent tweets (the last ~3200 from each account) contain links to CNN, accompanied by the beginning of the title of whatever article/video is being linked.
These accounts are repetitive, which isn't surprising as all their tweets are portions of the same CNN headlines. All tweets begin with @null, which may be a coding error rather than an intentional tag - in many programming languages, null is the value of an unassigned variable.
An interesting consequence of starting each tweet with "@null": this botnet's tweets are categorized as replies by Twitter, causing their recent content not to appear in their timelines unless one clicks "Tweets and Replies". This may or may not be intentional.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Conspirador Norteño

Conspirador Norteño Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @conspirator0

14 Nov
We've seen some glitchy GAN-generated images used as Twitter profile pics before, but @jtatejtate1 kinda takes the cake with the utterly surreal "clothing" and "hat". #SaturdayShenanigans

cc: @ZellaQuixote
Here's a video showing @jtatejtate1's profile pic blended with a bunch of other GAN-generated images. The major facial features (eyes, nose, and mouth) are in the same location on each image.
(more on GAN-generated face pics and the usage thereof on Twitter accounts)
Read 11 tweets
12 Nov
We've analyzed a variety of bot/sock networks using coordinated retweeting to make content look more popular than it actually is (astroturfing). For a change of pace, here's a look at a network from 2018 that used quote tweets for artificial amplification.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
This June 2018 tweet from @OrigoNetworks received more than 3 times as many quote tweets as retweets (quote tweet/retweet ratio of ~0.05 appears to be average). Furthermore, the accounts that quote tweeted it were disproportionately created in June/July 2018. What happened?
To explore further, we looked at other tweets with lopsided quote tweet/retweet ratios quote tweeted by the bulk-created accounts that quote tweeted the @OrigoNetworks tweet, and indeed found more accounts created in June/July 2018 that quote tweeted a lot of the same tweets.
Read 8 tweets
11 Nov
If what's missing from your Wednesday is a group of newly-minted automated accounts that link randomly named NFL and NBA-themed tumblr pages, this is the botnet for you. (We're as confused as you as to what 1990s NASCAR drivers have to do with the Lakers.)

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We found 29 accounts, all created between November 8th and November 11th 2020. These accounts post all of their tweets via automation service dlvr(dot)it.
Most of this botnet's tweets contain links to tumblr pages of the form nfl*****(dot)tumblr(dot)com or lakers*****(dot)tumblr(dot)com. The tumblr pages are empty other than a "RELOAD NEWS" button that redirects to zeezhop(dot)com. (As always, be wary of links to unknown sites.)
Read 5 tweets
10 Nov
How did this duo of newly-created IFTTT bots get so many retweets on their tweets with embedded ISIS videos despite having almost no followers? #TuesdayThoughts

(Some of the accounts mentioned in this thread got suspended while we were doing the research.)

cc: @ZellaQuixote ImageImage
We downloaded the retweets of the video tweets from the two IFTTT ISIS bots (@3J2IEgC35AMih8R and @Id1kveiZWhI013x), and it turns out that most of the retweets are also automated: 250 of 257 retweets (97.3%) were sent via one of 101 different automation apps. Image
The accounts retweeting the two IFTTT ISIS bots didn't only automate their retweets of these two accounts: 89 of 122 accounts (72.9%) automated at least half of their tweets, and 65 of 122 (53.3%) are at least 80% automated. These accounts were mostly created in 2020. ImageImageImageImage
Read 6 tweets
9 Nov
Meet @Wizard_Predicts, a self-anointed Election Wizard with 106K followers and a taste for dubious tweets about voter fraud. It takes pride in being followed by @DanScavino, @MattGaetz, @DLoesch, and many more. (We'll get back to the "many more" part shortly).

cc: @ZellaQuixote
The first unusual thing we noticed about @Wizard_Predicts: despite it being an English-language pro-Trump account, many of the "Who To Follow" suggestions that come up when viewing its timeline are non-English accounts.
Although @Wizard_Predicts's followers mostly look like English-language #MAGA accounts, things get a weirder when we look at the first 10K or so: the 2009 spike in account creations we usually see is largely absent. (Its first follower is right-wing Twitter pundit @Barnes_Law.)
Read 8 tweets
8 Nov
We explored the follower networks of the 311 dormant bots we found following @keichri, and indeed found a much larger group of old automated accounts.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We found 25574 automated accounts that we believe to be part of this botnet. All were created in batches between 2012 and 2014, and they use repetitive naming schemes. (This is probably not the whole network, we stopped searching when the pace of finding more accounts slowed.)
These accounts are mostly dormant, but back when they were active they tweeted via a wide variety of automation apps (883 apps total). Almost all of their content is in Russian.
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!