Social media hacks

This is just one of the many reasons SocialGalactic has a Clean Speech policy. Because if it’s on the Internet, you have to assume it will be made public sooner or later:

The Gab accounts of Donald Trump and Gab’s own CEO are among those “compromised” by a hack of the microblogging service popular among US conservatives and right-wingers. The data is being offered to researchers and journalists.

A 70-gigabyte trove of data dubbed “Gableaks” includes public posts on the platform, but also “private posts, user profiles, hashed passwords for users, DMs, and plaintext passwords for groups,”according to an entity called DDoSecrets. The information was allegedly stolen by a third party and leaked to the group, which operates similarly to WikiLeaks. The leak was described in detail by Wired, which was given access to a sample of the dataset.

Gab is a competitor of Twitter that caters to users who feel their freedom of speech is being unduly restricted by Big Tech. Critics call it a hotbed of far-right extremism that is flourishing thanks to the company policies encouraging user anonymity and a lack of content moderation.

Like it’s better-known counterpart Parler, Gab saw an influx of new users after Silicon Valley launched a crackdown on undesirable voices in the wake of the January 6 riot at the Capitol. When Parler was effectively deplatformed shortly afterwards, some of its users went to Gab.

The Gableaks trove “contains pretty much everything on Gab, including user data and private posts, everything someone needs to run a nearly complete analysis on Gab users and content,” DDoSecrets cofounder Emma Best told the tech news website. “It’s another gold mine of research for people looking at militias, neo-Nazis, the far right, QAnon and everything surrounding January 6.”

According to Wired, the data in DDoSecrets’ possession was obtained through a technique called “SQL injection,” which tricks a website into executing malicious code sent as user input. In a Friday statement, Gab said it was “aware of a vulnerability in this area and patched it last week.” DDoSecrets says the hacking was done by “JaXpArO (they/them) & My Little Anonymous Revival Project.”

There isn’t any point in complaining about the media utilizing black hat hackers. They are, by their own admission, the enemy, and as such they are going to engage in enemy action. And all the so-called privacy policies will be denied and deemed to be irrelevant by the companies no matter what they say; if there is one thing we have learned from the Bears’ battle with Patreon, it is that the tech companies will assert, at every single point, that their behavior is not restricted in any way by their own contracts no matter what those contracts clearly say.

The only thing that actually restricts them is the intersection of those contracts with the law, to the extent that judges and arbitrators are actually willing to apply the latter. And that is very, very far from a sure thing.

The answer is very simple. Never post or comment anything that you would be hesitant to state in a courtroom before a judge under oath. And if the post or comment could cost you your job if it comes to light, then keep it to yourself. You simply cannot reasonably expect privacy in the Global Panopticon.