Bot Tweets Venmo Drug Transactions

A Python programmer decided to dig into the Venmo transaction database and pull out all of the transactions for drugs, sex and alcohol, and tweet them.

The creator of the bot named "Who's buying drugs on Venmo" under the Twitter handle @venmodrugs says he wanted users to consider their privacy settings before using Venmo. The bot finds Venmo transactions that include words such as heroin, marijuana, cocaine, meth, speed or emojis that denote drugs and tweets the transaction with the names of the sender and receiver and the sender's photo, if there is one...

"I wanted to demonstrate how much data Venmo was making publicly available with their open API and their public by default settings and encourage people to consider their privacy settings," Joel Guerra, the creator of the bot, told Motherboard, a technology news outlet run by Vice.

In his 1975 book The Shockwave Rider, sf author John Brunner details a scenario in which a computer hacker writes a special computer tapeworm that brings out hidden government data and then presents it to the user during ordinary computer use:

AN ALARMING ITEM TO FIND ON
YOUR OVERDUE-TAX DEMAND

For the information of the person required to pay this tax:
Analysis of last year's federal budget shows that:
***17% of your tax dollar went on boondoggles
***13% on propaganda, bribes and kickbacks
***11% on federal contracts with companies which are a) fronting for criminal activities and/or b) partly or wholly owned by persons subject to indictment for federal offences and/or c) hazardous to health and the environment. Fuller details may be obtained by punching the code number at top left of this form into any veephone. They take about 57 minutes to present.
(Read more about Brunner's government data transparency)

 

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