After Twitter banned former US President Donald Trump’s account following the events of January 6, 2021 at the US Capitol, Elon Musk the new owner of Twitter has reversed the ban and reinstated Donald Trump’s Twitter account.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Elon Musk tweeted on Saturday night. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Latin for “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
The final Twitter poll results on Saturday night showed 51.8% in favour of reinstating Donald Trump’s account, while 48.2% of Twitter users opposed the move in the poll which included 15 million votes in total.
Far beyond the political implications in the US of reversing Donald Trump’s ban, from a tech perspective, Elon Musk alluded that the poll might also serve as a ‘honeypot’ to attract Twitter spam bots.
In cyber security terms, a honeypot is a deliberately set up decoy to lure spam bots, malware, or cyber attackers and detect, deflect and study hacking attempts that try to gain unauthorised access into any system.
According to Elon Musk, the Donald Trump poll was getting a massive 1 million votes per hour, which is a huge surge of viral activity by any stretch of the imagination. “Fascinating to watch the Twitter Trump poll. The bot attack is impressive to watch,” tweeted Elon Musk, in response to all the frenzied activity on Twitter surrounding the Donald Trump poll.
It’s not hard to imagine the Twitter poll being used to study the effectiveness of or even fine-tune the micro-blogging platform’s anti-spam measures. “Most accurate would be to require access to phone GPS for location-specific polls,” said Elon Musk, in one of his tweets around the subject of legitimate Twitter users who were polling their vote in the Donald Trump debate–and how to minimize and eliminate spam bots from influencing any Twitter poll in the future.