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Twitter is blocking JSFiddle links in a bid to stop spammers, but it’s punishing legitimate work

Twitter is blocking links to one of the largest playgrounds that's used by genuine developers.
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JSFiddle is the second most popular online integrated development environment in 2019, according to the Popularity of Programming Language (PYPL) index based on the number of times it was searched on Google, directly behind Cloud9.

According to one of its founders, Oskar Krawczyk, JSFiddle is being blocked by Twitter due to crypto scammers using it.

“At some point in the past crypto scammers used JSFiddle to host pages with a wallet code and posted links to that on Twitter,” explains Krawczyk in a post.

A wallet code could look like: “send some ETH and receive 2x more back!”, showing ‘live’ transactions and fake testimonials.  The transactions listed may actually be legit, though the live aspect isn’t. When the page is refreshed, the same transactions will always reappear as if they were new. And the transactions are just the doubled amount being sent back. It’s the scammer’s way to make the site look legit.

“Due to the nature of JSFiddle, anyone can post anything, so wallet codes are ok – we did implement a content filter to shadow-ban these,” continues Krawczyk.

Krawczyk contacted Twitter asking to ban the Twitter accounts that where posting scam tweets that included links to rogue fiddles.

Instead of blocking spammer accounts as requested, Twitter just “went the easy route and blocked all jsfiddle.net links.”

Krawczyk tried to contact Twitter for an explanation without success. “They most likely have no-explanation-needed-policy, which is why they never replied,” he said. “There’s nothing that can be done here unless somebody has contact with a higher op at Twitter who has the decision power to help out here.”

Undeniably, Twitter has a lot of non-tech users. And JSFiddle is a website designed specifically to run anonymous codes. This might have been just a math decision by Twitter: the quantity of malware surpasses by far the number of good links shared with JSFiddle and policing requires too many resources.

Twitter’s approach hurts other platforms without fixing the problem. JSFiddle’s reasonable approach is to leave their product offering intact while punishing misconducts. Twitter’s way is to slap a ‘warning’ sticker on JSFiddle without solving the problem of Twitter being used to spread malware, as there are many other platforms that can substitute JSFiddle.

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