Twitter As ‘Porn Hub’ Allowing Psy-War Targeting Communal Harmony

Twitter is the ‘porn hub’ of social media, DisinfoLab said in a new report. Shockingly, despite Indian laws and Twitter’s own policies, even child porn and rape videos are freely available. Worse, Twitter’s lax policy has allowed a massive psy-war targeting communal harmony, the report said. Twitter has a full-fledged porn industry — from live web cam to other ‘off-line services’. Numerous NSFW content selling websites openly advertise themselves on Twitter, including those who show their registration in India, it added.These activities are not run in hiding but in broad day light, advertising with hashtags! Live porn is openly sold on Twitter using the IndianCamGirl hashtag involving a nexus of ‘service providers’, it said.

The fact that the hashtag started in 2017, involves several Influencers, and is used regularly is a testament to Twitter’s unwillingness to address these concerns. In the garb of such ‘services’, personal data of the users are being mined, to be used for criminal activities from ‘sextortion’ to rape, to sexual exploitation of minors, leading to grave consequences, including suicides. Anti-social/anti-India elements are taking advantage of this ‘free porn’ environment of Twitter, weaponising the content. An elaborate psy-war is being waged to damage India’s communal harmony, particularly between Hindus and Muslims, the report said. “Hundreds of fake handles are running coordinated campaigns, dehumanising the women of both religions. These handles pretend to be Hindus (#hstuds) when demeaning Muslim girls (#mslut); and Muslim (#mstud), while demeaning Hindu girls (#hslut),” it added.

The behavioral pattern of these handles – creation date, activity, location and hashtag – clearly establishes an organized campaign designed to harm social harmony. Surprisingly, despite obvious Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior (CIB), Twitter doesn’t seem to take any actions, the report said. Twitter, the US based for-profit company, seems obliged to follow only US laws, while showing complete dis-regard to India’s IT Rules, which prohibits adult content on social media. Twitter doesn’t even make any attempt to implement the laws, doable with basic location filter, the report said. Contrast it with other social media platforms which do far better content management, and continue to strive to keep social media space clean. Shockingly, Twitter seems blind to even most obscene contents, including child porn despite a ‘child sexual exploitation policy’.

Twitter claims to have a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards child pornography – and yet seems to make zero efforts to counter this menace. It’s important to remember that this content is available to even under age users, as Twitter doesn’t filter ‘sensitive content’ to even young users, the report said. Equally shocking is freely available ‘rape videos’ on Twitter, which is prohibited even under Twitter’s policy of ‘gory content’. Even those video posts, which have words that could trigger filter mechanism are freely available, including the gang-rape video of a young girl, the report said. Twitter has also failed to filter obscene content for young users. Even a minor user on Twitter can access most obscene content if they wish to. Worth noting that Twitter could easily filter particular kind of content on age and location restriction, if it wished to, DisinfoLab said. “To access Twitter Hub, one need not even own a Twitter account. An open Google search could land anyone, even a minor, to most gory and vulgar contents available on Twitter with just a click on ‘view sensitive content’. Seems #Google also needs to take measures to control it,” the report added.

The DisinfoLab said in a report that adult content industry’s symbiotic relation with Twitter goes both ways: The presence of pornography lures and keeps engaged a number of users; and secondly, it also helps create an economic eco-system, which is more loyal as user, and hence increases Twitter’s number of ‘active users’. The report said several users/accounts openly sell porn on Twitter. The mechanism is simple: The seller accounts show porn clips, thereby ‘attracting’ customers and creating a ‘brand’. Then they send messages, asking money in exchange of large amount of porn. This conversation moves to DMs. In DMs they then share the links for the pornographic content. Not surpassingly, the links at times redirects to malicious websites.

Twitter doesn’t allow for ad promotion for pornographic content, but there are multiple ‘porn services’ websites that get promoted on Twitter. Interestingly, the report came across instances where same set of people/organizations running multiple websites/platforms on Twitter – without any filtering/restrictions. For example, two different websites (www.flitz.in and www.bindastimes.com) were asking for subscription money for giving access to their content. Only fans’ accounts promote their content on Twitter by sharing their website links. Interestingly, as some of the activities are illegal in India, they claim their location to be outside India, while proving contact details and address in India.

For example, a casual look at one of the websites revealed that these sites are registered in Kolkata, and their details have both address and contact numbers from Kolkata. It is therefore again surprising how Twitter doesn’t even scan the basic data of a website’s registration, the report said. It further said that some of the porn content accounts lure the users into filling forms, asking for personal details for a range of things – from ‘one-night stand’ to chats, video and calls etc. However, in order to access these services, the users have to fill forms, such as Google forms, which is not monitored by anyone, not even by Twitter.

Among the data collected through such means are mobile numbers and email ids; personal profile (age, marriage status), professional profile and payment details. The personal data so gathered could be exploited from blackmailing to phishing to selling to third parties. A number of such instances have also been reported in public, and there is a possibility that many more would be getting into traps but are not coming out openly due to public embarrassment, the report said. Other than the verified (Bluetick) services provided by Twitter to adult content handles/platforms, there is a full-fledged industry flourishing on Twitter which strives to provide authentication services to porn service providers. ‘Live webcam services’ are one of the most popular services on Twitter to sell porn. Thousands of users are offering these services openly on Twitter – selling links/means to access this service. However, every economic system needs trust, which is acquired through means of standardisation. The porn industry on Twitter too has developed its own systems of trust through standardisation, DisinfoLab said. Shockingly, despite Indian laws and Twitter’s own policies, even child porn and rape videos are freely available. Worse, Twitter’s lax policy has allowed a massive psy-war targeting communal harmony, the report said. (IANS)

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