Our 'Hercules' System Finds 73 Suspended Twitter Accounts, Reborn, In One Day

One of the issues with Twitter - and social media in general - is that once suspended, accounts often try to get back under a new nom-de-angry. Some people, like the infamous BlazinNoah (on whom we cannot comment as he's facing 10 serious criminal charges, and maybe more soon) had, we think, 17 consecutive accounts. The even worse 'DieJewDie' has 23, some of them still active but silent.

So we have Hercules to hunt them down.

Hercules is a suite of unix/bash/python/ruby scripts we created which connect directly to the Twitter API (for which we have paid the relevant fees).

We log accounts suspended for Hate Speech, and he scrapes the account data to create a 'fingerprint' - who follows, who they follow, wording used, repeated mis-spells, repeated use of certain graphics, repeated targeting or engagement with certain individuals. He seeks patterns.

Hercules runs 24/7. He never sleeps. He's getting on a bit, running as he does on an old pensioned-off and donated ATX *386 but he chugs away.

This week he outdid himself by getting 73 hits in a single 24 hour period. All have been passed onto Twitter internally with supporting data, and all are due to be suspended again.

So if you're wondering how we recently broke 1300 scalps on Twitter .. that's one of the methods we use.

(*Hercules is pronounced in the French manner, as it is of course, in honour of, and respect to, Hercules Poirot, who always found the villains by application of method.)