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This article was published on May 4, 2015


This notorious troll is gaming Twitter ads to promote white supremacism

This notorious troll is gaming Twitter ads to promote white supremacism
Mic Wright
Story by

Mic Wright

Reporter, TNW

Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy. Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy.

Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer became a free speech hero when he was jailed for a year after revealing a hole in iPad security and exposing thousands of AT&T customers’ details back in 2010. His sentence was ultimately quashed.

Since then he’s become even more well-known as one of the Web’s most notorious trolls, which he combines with a taste for white supremacist ideology, going so far as to get a huge swastika tattoo.

His latest trick is gaming Twitter’s self-service ad console to push a tweet espousing his views into the timelines of women and ethnic minorities.

https://twitter.com/rabite/status/595243888346079233

Auernheimer is delighted with the outraged response his stunt is getting – and no doubt with articles like this one – but it does highlight a massive flaw with Twitter’s system.

Asked whether the content of his promoted tweet is against the company’s terms and conditions, he replied:

https://twitter.com/rabite/status/595082395122081792

It looks like his next experiment will be attempting to target specific users:

https://twitter.com/rabite/status/595081005859524608

I’ve contacted Twitter to ask what it makes of Auernheimer’s antics. The “day 1” in the link to his Storify documenting the trolling suggests there’s more to come.

Update: And here’s what he had to say after seeing this article

https://twitter.com/rabite/status/595291882663518208

Update: TNW understands the tweets were removed under Twitter’s hate speech/sensitive content policy. Of course, by then the damage was already done.

Read next: Twitter’s new anti-abuse measures speed up action against harmful users