Open Season Ending For Social Media Hackers

Twitter Hoax Causes Market Decline–Washington Post


Following a recent slew of high profile Twitter accounts being hacked, the popular social media outlet is beefing up its security efforts.  If the company were to allow for the same security measures to remain in place, it would not only be damaging its own reputation, but it’s very operations would be ignoring a major ethical concern surrounding people’s right to privacy.

People are posting more and more of their personal information on the internet and social media outlets for various reasons and in varying capacities every day.  Naturally, such a movement has led to a simultaneous leap in presence of hackers.  The danger of social media hacking does lie solely in loss of personal data, however.

Individuals are now relying on social media as a primary source of news.  Inaccuracies in what is posted by seemingly reputable sources then has the potential to make for major overreactions and misunderstandings.  This is evidenced in the recent Twitter hackings of members of the Associated Press (AP) that led to several different incidents of false information being spread via the social media site.

Recently, false posts from a hacked AP account contributed to a stock market decline.  A hacker (following the tragic events of the Boston Marathon bombings) posted untrue information regarding an explosion at the White House.  He even went so far as to say that President Obama was hurt in the explosion.  Reactions to the news led to the aforementioned drop in the S&P 500 that saw a $136 billion dollar decline in market value.  This news is especially threatening to Twitter considering it was only a few months ago that the sharing of market-sensitive data was made legal on the social media site.

These sort of issues directly speak to the need for greater security measures to be taken by Twitter to ensure that private information and accounts are not compromised.  In response to the recent account hackings, Twitter has begun to take proactive steps to ensure that these sorts of issues do not continue.  New security measures are to include a multi-step authentication process that may even include identification codes being sent to account owner’s cell phones that must be utilized in order to be granted access to one’s Twitter account.

The increase in security measures is a great move, but it would appear that such a step is long overdue.  As we learned in class, proper planning steps could have addressed the potential for these ethical issues originally and saved the hassle now.  Individuals and companies entrust Twitter with personal information with the assumption that they will be protected from hackers and the like.  If Twitter or any other site is unable to live up to such assumptions, a very serious ethical issue could cause the reliability and credibility it has attained to be lost.

What other steps can Twitter take?  Do reports of these sorts of issues make you wary of the credibility of Twitter sources?


6 thoughts on “Open Season Ending For Social Media Hackers

  1. This is a very interesting blog post, since we live in a society where social media is increasing and everyone is relying on the information that is posted. Personally, I never had a twitter account (and I’m not planning on getting one), but I used to be a Facebook addict. After realizing that Facebook is ruining people’s reputation, I deactivated it. People can post anything and everything online and others believe it. As you mentioned in your blog, hackers can steal your personal information and it may effect your future career and personal life.

  2. i personally was shocked when i saw how dramatic a false posting on twitter had on the stock market. Today, the presence of social media is a delicate one. I know Facebook has multi-step authentication process that includes identification codes being sent to account owner’s cell phones that must be utilized in order to be granted access to one’s account. I am surprised that twitter waited until now to begin implement such security measures.

  3. I agree with the two previous comments that this post was very shocking and interesting to read. I also agree with the fact that social media is such a sensitive topic in the present day and understand what the post was stating that when people hack personal or business accounts and make false accusations it can make a huge impact. For example, if a celebrity’s twitter was hacked and false information about them was placed online, no matter what the person does to try and oppose the false claim, the false statement has probably been seen and heard by too many people that it would almost be impossible to ensure that everyone would hear that the claim was false. Furthermore, I do feel that this was an operations slip-up by twitter to not ensure high level security tactics being that the information that is put out there is so personal and immediate. Hopefully, these things will not happen in the anymore and future social media companies should take note of this problem encountered by twitter.

  4. I do like to go to Twitter for updates regarding social media or news, but I know when to not trust sites like Twitter. When I look at tweets or “hashtags” or Twitter I have come to realize what is reliable and what is not, what to believe and what not to believe. Social media has definitely influenced society and what we believe but, I think as viewers we have learned to realize what sources on this media to trust and which to not.

  5. It is surprising how one post on twitter affected the stock market so dramatically. Twitter is not really a credible source in the first place. I don’t think anybody should rely on posts that are tweeted for economical purposes. Twitter should only be used to communicate with friends, and follow celebrities; nothing as serious as causing the market to lose millions of dollars. It is unfortunate how much people rely on non-credible sources on twitter rather than researching the true facts themselves. In terms of Twitter managing to prevent hackers and non-credible posts, they can’t really do much. Obviously, there are hackers in our society that will find their way in, no matter how many barriers we set. I wouldn’t consider this Twitter’s managements fault, but rather the people who believed the news on Twitter so quickly without researching deep into it are the reason for the decline in the market.

  6. Cyber-security is a growing problem among corporations and governments worldwide. I think the original purpose of social-media sites such as Twitter and Facebook was more geared toward entertainment, and not designed for massive corporations that it serves today. They need to realize that their cliental is changing, and security should be their number one concern. This is essential to protect the privacy of consumers.

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