How Elon Musk botched Twitter's bot problem

On Sunday, Musk boasted that "the bots are in for a surprise tomorrow." But there was no surprise — first, because bots are incapable of being surprised, and second, because no one was surprised that Musk's solution to removing bots was incredibly stupid and ineffective. He simply blocked mobile phone companies around the world. No traffic, no bots!

From Casey Newton's excellent Platformer newsletter:

Twitter blocked traffic from roughly 30 mobile carriers around the world, effectively cutting off access to hundreds of thousands of accounts, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region, including vast swaths of Russia, Indonesia, India, and Malaysia. 

The project was part of Elon Musk's attempt to rid Twitter of spam. But rather than work to remove individual offenders, the company identified mobile networks associated with large spam networks in specific countries, and blocked users who relied on those networks from receiving SMS messages from Twitter, impacting people with two-factor authentication. Then it blocked traffic from those carriers completely.