3 min read

Griefing "Crypto Deleted Tweets"

A few thoughts on the "Crypto Deleted Tweets" bot and how to improve the signal/noise ratio of the account.
Griefing "Crypto Deleted Tweets"

For several years someone has operated a Twitter bot called "Crypto Deleted Tweets" which automatically posts screenshots of tweets deleted by well-known folks on Crypto Twitter. This account does a good job of calling out brash accounts that tend to tweet bullshit that they later regret and remove. However, the bot is extremely naive and will post any deleted tweet without regard for its content.

I rarely delete tweets; when I do it's usually because of a spelling / grammar / content mistake that I correct and replace with nearly the same tweet. For example, I accidentally a double negative:

Source: https://twitter.com/CryptoDeleted/status/1202947800209727489

Until recently the "Crypto Deleted Tweets" account didn't listen to my feed for deleted tweets, but now it does. For example, today I tested deleting a 2 month old tweet and it didn't get picked up by the bot, but a day-old tweet did get reposted by it. For me that mainly means that it's slightly annoying that 10,000 people will see whenever I correct a spelling or grammar mistake. To be clear, I don't find this to be a big deal. Rather, it poses an interesting new opportunity.

I will note that this account has started "breaking character" a lot, making personal trollish tweets rather than sticking to the bot activity.

Source: https://twitter.com/cryptodeleted/status/1203775181778571265

The account has also ventured well outside of Crypto Twitter...

Source: https://twitter.com/CryptoDeleted/status/1203032713269256199

The Exploit

As I mentioned earlier, this bot is incredibly naive. Some folks I know who have felt harassed by this account have taken to blocking it or putting their account into private mode when deleting tweets, but that doesn't guarantee that the bot creator won't just use a different account to listen to your tweets for deleted content.

I believe that the "crypto deleted tweets" idea has some merit, but the current implementation is subpar; my intention is to encourage the author to improve the signal and filter out the noise currently broadcast by this bot. So I wrote my own bot... that posts a tweet every few minutes and deletes it.

The owner of the deleted tweets account noticed pretty quickly and within about 10 minutes they blocked their bot from listening to my account for deleted content.

What Should "Crypto Deleted Tweets" Do?

The way I see it, the bot author has several options in response to griefing:

  • Stop listening to any account that starts deleting lots of tweets
  • Enter into a cat-and-mouse game of trying to filter out the noisy deleted tweets
  • Change the bot not to automatically post tweets, but rather queue them up for the human author to only tweet the interesting deleted tweets.

Personally I think the third option would improve the quality of the account the most.

An Open Offer to Anyone Followed by This Bot

If you are currently followed by the "deleted tweets" bot and want it to stop posting your deleted content then please contact me and I'll help get you set up. Hopefully we'll be able to incentivize the Crypto Deleted Tweets bot author to improve the management of their account.