Whistleblower Alleges Twitter Misled Regulators on Bots

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Aug 25, 2022

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Until he was fired in January, Peiter Zatko served as the social media company’s head of security.

Twitter Uncovered

A whistleblower has exposed what could be a massive cover-up by Twitter on security vulnerabilities and spam accounts. 

Peiter Zatko is a former security chief at the social media firm. He alleged that the company had misled federal regulators about how solid its defense was against security lapses and hackers. He also asserted that Twitter prioritized its growth over managing the issue of fake accounts.

Zatko disclosed this in an 84-page complaint first published by the Washington Post and CNN. Copies have also been sent to various United States congressional committees.

In the document, the former employee said executives were eligible to make bonuses of up to $10 million based on user growth.

In April, Elon Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion and take it private. However, the deal soon stalled following allegations that the company had withheld information about the actual state of its user base. 

While Twitter has claimed that only about 5% of accounts are spam bots, Musk insists the number is much higher. Currently, he is locked in a legal battle with the company, which sued him after he decided to call off the deal.

Twitter has responded to the whistleblower’s allegations, calling them a “false narrative” that is “riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies”. 

Sources.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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