Ripple Labs, along with XRP, the digital currency associated with the company, are both very controversial and have the power to turn even the most civil conversations into a brawl. Many involved in the crypto community know that when a person says something disparaging regarding XRP or Ripple, they are likely to be swarmed by an army of those who support the cryptocurrency.
Manipulating Public Opinion
Messari co-founder Ryan Selkis, who goes by the Twitter handle @twobitidiot, recently shared how much he was harassed by XRP enthusiasts. Many went so far as to call his home number and bother him. Recent news, however, has shown that there are thousands of fake accounts (also called bots) on various social media platforms that manipulate the sentiment behind Ripple.
As a matter of fact, Geoff Goldberg has taken the time to study bots as they relate to XRP and fake Twitter accounts. His findings were revealed late last year.
“Astroturfing is the deceptive tactic of simulating grassroots support for a product, cause, etc., undertaken by people or organizations with an interest in shaping public opinion,” Mr. Goldberg stated. Additionally, he provided a wide range of graphs and other analytics tools he used to conduct his research.
One particular account on the social media platform Mr. Goldberg referenced was that of @Giantgox. This account raised his interest since it showed as being connected to many other accounts which showed up as bots.
Goldberg goes on to state that there are roughly 8,000 Twitter accounts that are potentially fake XRP users. He also claims that in a bet he made with David Schwartz, Ripple’s CTO, Schwartz promised to investigate issues if Goldberg could show their legitimacy.
However, since sharing his information online, Goldberg states that Schwartz has gone silent and is unwilling to acknowledge the promise Goldberg says he made. “
Apart from the Giantgox handle, Goldberg has also unearthed data that look questionable associated with a separate XRP account, @Xrptrump. The Twitter account has almost 30,000 followers, the majority of which are accounts that have no interest in XRP or are inauthentic. Goldberg suggests that this is how the XRP army creates its support.
Just like Ryan Selkis experienced when he dared challenge XRP, Goldberg himself has said that he is constantly harassed and ridiculed by XRP enthusiasts. After he shared his research about the number of Ripple bots online, Goldberg says a message popped up from a Twitter account asking “Who can kill him?”
Goldberg quickly reported the message and the account to Twitter, however, the platform informed him that the account had not violated any of their harassment policies. A few days later, Goldberg received an apology from the account holder, who then removed the profile from Twitter.
Despite continued harassment and attempts at intimidation, Goldberg refuses to back down. He says he will continue with his analysis and research and will share what he finds. “I eat XRP army shills for breakfast,” he boldly stated.
Image Credits: “botlist.co“