Free Tibet Conversations Sabotaged by Twitter Bots

Tibet and its freedom are a highly popular topic these days on social media networks and apparently someone is trying to sabotage these conversations on Twitter by using bots that post meaningless tweets to disturb those interested in the subject.

We’ve seen a similar situation some time ago when anti-Kremlin protests in Russia were sabotaged the same way.

Now, security journalist Brian Krebs informs that hashtags such as #tibet or #freetibet are flooded with automated posts that basically prevent users from following news related to the conflict between China and Tibet.

Erika Rand, who is co-producing a documentary on Tibet called State of Control, noticed the flood and even managed to make a video to demonstrate its effects.

“This looks like an attempt to suppress news about recent activism surrounding Tibet. We’re not sure how long it’s been going on for. We noticed it last night, and it’s still happening now,” Rand said a few days ago.

“We first discovered these tweets looking at Twitter via the web, then looked at TweetDeck to see how quickly they were coming. They no longer appear when searching for Tibet on Twitter via the web, but are still flooding in fast via TweetDeck.”

Unfortunately, it turns out that the bots have gone unnoticed so far, but Twitter has been informed of the incident and hopefully they will take the necessary steps to put an end to their dominance over the Tiber-related hashtags.

We’ve tested to see if these bots are still active. The #freetibet hashtag is still being flooded with about 60 fake tweets per minute and not only on TweetDeck, but also on the web.

Here’s the video made by Erika Rand to show how the bots compromised tweets related to Tibet:

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