Twitter has a nifty new feature which allows you to schedule the publication of a Tweet. But, crucially, it doesn’t let the reader know when the message was originally written.
How can you, as a publisher, prove that you wrote a scheduled Tweet at a specific time?
Here’s one method.
- Write a Tweet which contains a timestamp – “This is my message 2020-08-17”
- Generate a hash of the message –
- Post the hash to Twitter.
- Schedule your message as a reply to the hash.
Here’s an example – check the dates:
The previous Tweet in this thread contains the SHA256 hash of *this* Tweet. This message was written on 2020-08-17.
— Terence Eden (@edent) August 23, 2020
Is this useful?
Probably not very useful. Here’s a couple of ideas.
Post your prediction for something, without influencing it. For example, the results of an election.
A sort of Dead Man’s Switch – a message to be sent when you’re not available.
It isn’t foolproof.
It’s really easy to screw up a hash. My first couple of experiments didn’t work because of errant whitespaces.
Modern hashes like SHA256 are probably resistant to collisions in Twitter’s limited message space.
And, of course, a person can post two hashes – for contradictory messages – and only publish replies one of them.