Having fangirled pretty hard over TWINT yesterday, after another day of experimentation and reflection, its potential for nefariousness or at least morally grey applications has somewhat dawned on me. It’s a very powerful, free tool with a relatively simple setup for anyone who is even vaguely tech savvy. It could easily be used be journalists or HR personnel to uncover offensive or damaging tweets authored by their subjects in a matter of seconds, and I don’t particular like that - but it is also one of the most obvious use cases for the software. It advertises itself as an OSINT tool, which should probably set some alarm bells ringing, as how many of Twitter’s users practise good infosec? Or even realise quite how public the microblogs they write really are?
I think Twitter has a lot to answer for with regards to the way it rewards polarised discourse and seems to moderate said discourse solely by omission. But while other companies like Google or Facebook harvest users' data in order to use it for their own benefit, Twitter is harvesting users' data and then making it freely available for anybody’s benefit - and that tradeoff doesn’t seem to be one people are conscious of while using the platform.