Twitter adds phone number requirement for Tor users

Twitter has made it a personal mission to stomp the trolls and abusive users that are giving its service a bad name (and causing some legitimate users to jump ship). The anonymous corner of the Internet offers a much-needed service for many, but it is likewise often abused by trolls who use it so that they're harder to trace. Tor is one such tool, and now Twitter is requiring those who are using it to verify their phone number straight away when making a new account, a requirement that isn't in place for those who aren't using Tor.

The change was pointed out by users on Twitter who reported having to verify a phone number in order to register a new account with Twitter...if they were using Tor. In light of that, others have tried to do the same and reported the same results, making it appear Twitter has instituted the new requirement in a rather quiet fashion.

The reasons for this change haven't been given, but it is likely due to Tor's popularity and the ease by which users can hide behind it. Some speculate this could be a sign that all users will need to verify their phones in the future, but that is still an unfounded concern at this point. Of course, this new change poses a couple of problems.

The most obvious issue is that Tor is not only used by those who are trying to troll people across the Internet while remaining anonymous — many legitimate users use Tor to get around blocks and to stay hidden out of necessity. Furthermore, the block won't be very effective at keeping trolls out — not when apps like Burner, which provides temporary phone numbers through an app, are freely available.

SOURCE: TechCrunch