CoinDesk’s Twitter Hack Proved the Media Can’t Rely on Web 2.0

CoinDesk’s Twitter Hack Proved the Media Can’t Rely on Web 2.0

(Free Stocks/Unsplash, modified with Photomosh)

A rundown from one of CoinDesk’s editorial Slack channels during an action-packed hour on Wednesday last week reads like a high-pace drama. 

It tells the tale of a news team going through a process of incremental information discovery. 

First, there’s the realization that a big story – a massive hack on Twitter – is developing. Second, there’s the sudden comprehension that CoinDesk itself has been targeted in that attack. And, third, there’s the scramble, with limited options and a certain sense of helplessness, to keep social media channels open to get that story out. 

It’s a tale, also, of how media and information services like ours have developed an unhealthy dependency on centralized social media platforms over which they have very little control. 

Now that CoinDesk’s Twitter handle has finally, one week later, been restored, we think it would be helpful to include a truncated summary of that Slack conversation. This episode is, after all, a cautionary one:

At 3:21 pm EDT on Wednesday, July 15, reporter Danny Nelson shared a screenshot of two side-by-side tweets, one from Binance’s account saying “We have partnered with CryptoHealth and are giving back 5000 BTC to the community,” the other from Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao telling people not to click on the link and asking them to report the Binance account to Twitter admin. 

“Someone been hacked by the looks of it,” Danny wryly observed. “If CZ was hacked this is some 3D chess.”

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