Ashley Madison reportedly planned to send 100,000 spammy tweets a month, and failed

Ashley Madison reportedly planned to send 100,000 spammy tweets a month, and failed

It seems like Ashley Madison’s troubles just won’t let up. Company emails found in a data dump leaked by hackers after they breached the site’s systems reveal that it planned to send out no less than 100,000 spam tweets a month.

Business Insider reports that email exchanges from February 2012 between founder Noel Biderman and CTO Raja Bhatia describe a custom-built tool called Twitply, that was designed to detect and respond to tweets containing keywords relevant to the company, such as ‘adultery’.

Emails between Ashley Madison's founder and CTO see them trying to figure out how to effectively spam Twitter
Emails between Ashley Madison’s founder and CTO see them trying to figure out how to effectively spam Twitter

One email message notes that the service had “analyzed” 2,324,502 tweets and sent 23,105 responses, and details the company’s plans to buy Twitter accounts in bulk to blast even more tweets.

Spamming users and buying accounts in bulk are both against Twitter’s terms of use.

However, the effort didn’t last long. Biderman emailed Bhatia around the end of May 2012 saying, “This doesn’t feel like a sustainable effort.” Bhatia responded, “We gave it three months and that’s all I asked. It isn’t worth my time if I actually have to run it on a daily basis. I’ll shut it down at the end of the month.”

Bhatia had also received a contract in November that described his duties as a consultant to the company:

“Consultant hereby agrees to operate and maintain the Program to send no less than 100,000 “tweets” per month on the Twitter social media service.”

It’s unclear as to whether these tweets actually went out, as later emails note that the Twitply system was shut down in October — before Bhatia received his contract.

It’s deplorable how Ashley Madison was being run, on just about every level. Only last week, a cracking team managed to decipher over 11 million user passwords from the leaked data in just 10 days, as they were poorly secured.

Ashley Madison apparently ran a Twitter spam operation designed to send 100,000 tweets a month [Business Insider]

Image credit: Business Insider

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