Twitter Suspends Hundreds Of Thousands Of Terrorist Accounts, Gives Everyone Its 'Quality Filter'

from the today-twitter-settles-all-its-business dept

Twitter's had a bit of a busy day. It made two big announcements within an hour, first saying that it had suspended 235,000 accounts since February for "promoting terrorism." It followed that up by announcing that it was opening up its "quality filter" for everyone. The quality filter used to only be available to "verified accounts" and was apparently one of the few actual benefits for being a "verified" account. Here's how Twitter explains it:
When turned on, the filter can improve the quality of Tweets you see by using a variety of signals, such as account origin and behavior. Turning it on filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience. It does not filter content from people you follow or accounts you’ve recently interacted with – and depending on your preferences, you can turn it on or off in your notifications settings.
From people who have it, they've indicated that it can do a decent, but not perfect, job in blocking purely trollish behavior. However, I still think that my own suggestion from last week makes more sense: rather than building a universal algorithm like this, give every user the tools to build their own quality filters (and to share the "recipes" of those filters). Not everyone has the same determination of what "quality" is. It's fine if Twitter wants to offer its own such filter, but why not open it up and let anyone create quality filters to use and share?

As for the removal of terrorist accounts, this still feels kind of pointless. Twitter talks about how it's getting faster at removing these accounts, and they're not able to build up many followers before they're shut down again, making Twitter a less useful platform for terrorist or terrorist supporters to use. But, again, if we think about Twitter as a protocol like email or a system like the telephone, this feels... weird. No one's clamoring for "we must stop ISIS from making phone calls." Besides, the intelligence community has said, repeatedly, that they get good intel from watching ISIS' social media activity. Shutting down their accounts may seem like a good thing (no one wants ISIS using their technology...), but what if it's actually making it more difficult for the intelligence community to track them?

Filed Under: abuse, isis, quality filter, social media, terrorism, trolls
Companies: twitter


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  1. identicon
    Kenpachi, 21 Aug 2016 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Seriously Mike?

    "hiding information on people doing bad things doesn't stop it from happening"

    You conflate so much different concepts and ideas that it boggles the mind.

    "bla bla bla false sense of security bla bla bla security theater bla bla bla catchy sound bites to sound cool and knowledgeable bla bla bla"

    That's what I get when reading your comment.

    Let's take your template to "avoid" what you claim to contribute to those things and apply them to other human conducts such as those described in this opinion piece. Let's see what we come up with and see if it makes sense, or better yet, is justified or legitimized:

    "hiding information disseminated by terrorist doesn't stop it from happening" therefore no one should opposed such dissemination. That contributes to a false sense of security. FACEPALM OVER 9000

    Let's continue shall we? Cause why stop there, after all, there're a lot of people doing "bad things" and we would not want to engage in anything to prevent or curtail that don't we?

    "hiding child pornography disseminated by pedophiles doesn't stop it from happening" it follows that no one should oppose that. Anyone that does it only contributes to "security theater". SMH "Let's plaster every social network with child/revenge porn! Starting with Twitter!! Child porn for everybody yey!! /s

    Please kill me now.

    "hiding information about kidnappers, murderers, rapists or drug cartels doesn't stop kidnappings, murders, rapes or drug addiction from happening" Therefore how dare someone oppose giving a platform to display, exchange, strategize, disseminate such content!! Only a censorious authoritarian would suggest such a thing! Right?!?!?

    I'm downing a gallon of bleach after I finished writing this response.

    TL;DR please, engage in critical thinking before throwing catchy sentences so overused and misplaced that have been deprived at this point of almost all meaning. But please, do so while remaining true to your rhetorical M.O.: quickly point out how I summoned the Four Horsemen of the Internet Apocalypse.

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