Twitter DMs channels are allegedly becoming the hub of porn videos, according to a new report.
According to The DisinfoLab report, 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/organisations 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.
*Edited from an IANS report