Trump is out of office and off of Twitter, but the MAGA follow trains continue to chug along. We took a look at #MAGA train activity subsequent to Twitter's January 8th 2021 QAnon crackdown. #SundaySpam

cc: @ZellaQuixote
By starting with a few MAGA follow trains and recursively exploring the accounts that retweeted them in search of additional trains, we found 7523 trains posted between Jan 9 and Feb 20, 2021, listing 10310 accounts. 7757 are still online, mostly accounts created in 2020 or 2021.
A significant minority of these trains (1145 of 7523, 15.2%) contain the hashtag #BolsoTrump2021, often alongside images promoting both Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. 16 of 58 "conductors" (accounts that post trains) we looked at used the #BolsoTrump2021 hashtag.
Retweet network for the MAGA train tweets. The 58 train conductors (including the 16 that post #BolsoTrump2021 trains) retweet each other's trains profusely, resulting in a single dense cluster. At least 13912 accounts retweeted trains posted by multiple conductors.
Who/what do the accounts listed on the MAGA follow trains amplify? With @realDonaldTrump suspended, @catturd2 is the most-retweeted account, followed by @JackPosobiec and @DonaldJTrumpJr. YouTube is the website they link most often, followed by various right wing media sites.
* slight correction - table title contains the wrong date range, should be "January 9th - February 20th 2021".

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More from @conspirator0

23 Feb
Meet @RoosterMagaa and @No1biden. Although their political perspectives appear to differ, they're both offering to "grow ur followers everyday 200+ real <MAGA/Biden> followers 10k in 1 month" using the exact same verbiage. #MondayMotivation

cc: @ZellaQuixote Image
Based on the identical verbiage, it seems quite possible that @RoosterMagaa and @No1biden are operated by the same entity. To test this, we had @SeanSpammity DM a request for MAGA followers to the ostensibly pro-Biden account (accompanied by @RoosterMagaa's tweet)... Image
A few hours later, @No1biden (allegedly a pro-Biden account) indeed replied with an offer to provide 10K "real MAGA Trump followers" for $300 or 25K for $500. (Needless to say, we're not going to pursue this opportunity.) Image
Read 5 tweets
19 Feb
Meet @DaoThuyHanh1, @TrangKi26074705, @NguyenN16424388, and @TrinhNg82469771, four automated Twitter accounts that were created this morning (Feb 18 2021) and are already spewing exciting questions like "Do People Actually Use Cryptocurrency?" into the universe.

cc @ZellaQuixote
These accounts are part of a botnet consisting of 34 accounts created in Feb 2021. They all follow multiple other members of the botnet (and not much else). Their follow graph is split into two separate clusters, with bots in each cluster only following others in that cluster.
The majority of this network's content thus far is tweets containing linkings to cryptocurrency news articles and blog posts. These tweets are sent via the SocialChief automation service, which we've seen before:
Read 5 tweets
18 Feb
What does "normal" Twitter traffic look like in terms of what percentage of it is automated/from accounts with default pics/new accounts etc? It turns out that the baseline values differ depending on tweet language.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We downloaded 100K random tweets in each of 9 languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. (We did this by choosing 1000 random cutoff times between Feb 8 and Feb 16, and downloading the preceding 100 tweets in each language.)
The percentage of tweets sent via automation apps (based on the "tweet source" field) varies widely by language. Tweets in Japanese have the highest rate of automation (16.9%) of tweets, with Arabic on the low end at only 0.9%. 5.9% of English-language tweets are automated.
Read 7 tweets
16 Feb
It's a great day to look at an Arabic-language pornbot network that uses stolen profile pics. This particular botnet sometimes uses the same pic on multiple accounts, occasionally cropped differently. #MondaySpam

cc: @ZellaQuixote
This network consists of 303 accounts created from November 2020 to January 2021, with particularly large batches created on November 13th, November 15th, and December 16th, 2020.
Most of this botnet's content is in Arabic, most of it is retweets, and most of it is (allegedly) sent via the Twitter Web App. The retweets were all sent via the web app, and its original content was posted via Twitter for Advertisers, Twitter Ads, and Tweetdeck.
Read 5 tweets
15 Feb
How does one detect renamed Twitter accounts and find the previous names? There's no surefire way to do it, but here are four methods that sometimes work.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
The first method is to do a Twitter search for old replies to the account in question. Use a search of this form to find replies prior to a given date and make sure to use "Latest" rather than "Top" results.

to:FMAR122 OR @FMAR122 until:2014-01-01
The previous name(s) will show up (sometimes alongside the current name) at the beginning of replies to the account's old tweets. This method doesn't always work, but it seems that when it does work, it works even if the tweets being replied to have been deleted.
Read 11 tweets
14 Feb
Meet @Dilde97512368, a Twitter account with a GAN-generated profile pic that is followed by lots of other accounts with GAN-generated pics.

(GAN = "generative adversarial network", the AI technique used by to generate fake face pics.)

cc: @ZellaQuixote
60 of @Dilde97512368's followers have GAN-generated face pics, but that's not the only pattern. 15 of its followers use cat pics, 7 use anime pics, and some of the pics that are neither GAN faces, cats, nor anime pics are repeated across two or three of its followers.
We explored the follower networks of @Dilde97512368's followers, and found a total of 3204 accounts with the same mix of profile pics (anime, cats, GAN-generated faces, and repeated images), all created January 25th or later.
Read 14 tweets

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