Content Moderation At Scale Is Impossible: Recent Examples Of Misunderstanding Context

from the masnick's-law dept

I've said over and over and over again that content moderation at scale is impossible to do well, and one of the biggest reasons for this is that it's difficult to understand context. Indeed, I've heard that some content moderation policies explicitly suggest that moderators don't try to take context into account. This is not because companies don't think it's important, but the recognition that understanding the context behind every bit of content, would make the process so slow as to be absolutely useless. Yes, it would be great if every content moderator had the time and resources to understand the context of every tweet or Facebook post, but the reality is that we'd then need to employ basically every human being alive to be researching context. Low level content moderators tend to only have a few seconds to make decisions on content, or the entire process slows to a crawl, and then the media will slam those companies for leaving "dangerous" content up too long. So tradeoffs are made, and often that means that understanding context is a casualty of the process. And, of course, that leads to some ridiculous (and hilarious) results. Here are three recent ones that came across my radar. First, someone marketing a tabletop roleplaying game discovered that when they tried to purchase ads on Facebook and Instagram marketing their TTRPG, they had their entire account shut down because they used the word "supplement."

The confusion here is not hard to figure out. First off, lots of roleplaying games have "supplements," or variations/adjustments/add-ons. However... "supplements" also refer to dietary supplements, a market filled with often highly questionable things that people put into their bodies with promises of... well... all sorts of things. And, making matters even worse (as I just discovered!) there's actually a dietary supplement called "RPG" so the Google searches are, well... complex.

And, to make matters even more complex, you may recall that a decade ago, the Justice Department got Google to hand over $500 million for displaying ads for non-approved drugs and supplements. So, I'm sure that both Facebook and Google are extra sensitive to any advertisement that might contain sketchy drugs and supplements -- and thus the rules are designed to be overly aggressive. To them, it's worst case, you shut down an account advertising a role playing game... which is better than having the DOJ show up and confiscate $500 million.

That's not to say this is a good result -- but to explain what likely happened on the back end.

Next up, we have Kate Bevan, who wrote about another content moderation fail on Facebook:

Again, the context here seems fairly obvious. Commenting about a picture of a cat and saying "beautiful puss" is... um... referring to a cat. Not anything else. But, again, in these days when companies are getting sued for all kinds of "bad" things online, you can see why a content moderator having to make a decision in seconds might get this one wrong.

Finally, we've got one that hits a little closer to home. Many of you may be familiar with one of our prolific commenters, That Anonymous Coward (or TAC, for short) who also is a prolific Twitter user. Or was until about a week ago when his account got suspended. Why did his account get suspended? Because of a reply he made to me! Chris Messina had tweeted following the news that Facebook had blocked news links in Australia, by noting that angry Australians were giving bad reviews of Facebook's app in the Australian Apple iOS App Store. And I tweeted, wondering if anyone actually looks at the reviews for apps like Facebook:

If you look below that tweet there are a few replies, including this:

What kind of reply could have possibly violated the rules? Well, here is the offending tweet from TAC:

Reading that in context, it's not at all difficult to see that TAC is mocking people who believe all of those nonsense conspiracy theories. But, right now, Twitter is extra sensitive to conspiracy theories on the site, in part because reporters are highlighting each and every "Q" believer who is allowed to spout nonsense as if it's a moral failing on the part of the companies themselves. So it's perhaps not surprising, even if ridiculous in context, for Twitter to say a tweet like that must violate its rules, and demand that TAC remove it, claiming it violated rules against spreading "misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19."

In this case, TAC appealed... and was (surprisingly quickly) told that his case was reviewed... and the appeal was rejected.

That feels a bit ridiculous, but again highlights the impossibility of content moderation at scale. Technically TAC's tweet is repeating the kinds of disinformation that social media websites are getting attacked over. Of course, it should seem fairly obvious to anyone reading the tweet that he's mocking the people who make those false conspiracy theory claims. But, how do you write a policy that says "unless they're referring to it sarcastically"? Because once you have that in place, and then you get to a point where you have terrible, terrible people saying terrible, terrible things, and then when called on it, they claim they were just saying it "sarcastically."

Indeed, when the "style guide" for the Nazi propaganda site "The Daily Stormer" was leaked, it explicitly told writers to write horrific things with plausible deniability: "it should come across as half-joking." And later in the same document: "The unindoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not."

That's not to excuse the decisions made here, but to explain how we get to this kind of absurd result. Obviously, it seems to me that all three of these cases are "mistakes" in content moderation, but they're the kind of mistakes that get made when you have to do moderation on millions of pieces of content per day, in a short period of time, or else governments around the world threaten to impose draconian rules or massive fines on you.

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Filed Under: content moderation, content moderation at scale, masnick's impossibility law
Companies: facebook, twitter

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  1. icon
    Koby (profile), 26 Feb 2021 @ 10:30am

    Loosen Up A Little

    "it should come across as half-joking." And later in the same document: "The unindoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not."

    It's getting worse than the moderators not having enough time to review compared to the workload. Instead, the trolls are attempting to blur the line. With the big tech oligarchs wound up so tight, they're extra susceptible accidentally attempting to fact-check a piece of satire. And those sorts of events, when they succeed, typically earn the trolls even more attention.

    Unfortunately, they've found a weakness in the system that can't be solved easily by simply having more time to examine the subject matter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 26 Feb 2021 @ 10:58am

    Re: Loosen Up A Little

    Koby making sense?

    What is the world coming to?!?!?!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2021 @ 11:36am

    Facebook recently added a clarification note to one of my postings. I was making fun of a picture someone posted to reddit where the mayor f Tampa was shown without a mask at the superbowl.

    The photo was from a hockey game, not the superbowl, because of the jerseys people were wearing. That's bad enough but they were cutouts - it was hilariously obvious. But I was spreading dis information lol - I'm such a bad boy

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Feb 2021 @ 12:57pm

    they've found a weakness in the system that can't be solved easily by simply having more time to examine the subject matter

    And according to everything you’ve ever said about Section 230, your solution is to make that weakness even more exploitable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Feb 2021 @ 1:04pm

    I, too, was once dinged by Twitter for something that’d make sense in context. I used a homophobic slur in the context of mocking speech that sounded like a straight person chiding a gay friend for making the straight person look bad by acting “too gay”. Automated systems can’t (and won’t ever be able to) discern context; a human touch will always be necessary, even if only to back up a correct decision.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Feb 2021 @ 1:09pm


    No the humans are idiots too...

    source: Calling myself faggot was deemed to be promoting hatred towards others a couple times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    ECA (profile), 26 Feb 2021 @ 1:14pm


    I got a ruler.

    There are only a few ways that Moderation can be done well.

    1. ALL the nations get together and decide what to Moderate(WILL NOT HAPPEN IN ANY LIFE TIME)
    2. DONT moderate and have a democratic(everyone gets to say anything) age 2 discussion of the ramifications of going Potty After eating Dog poop.
    3. The internet decides to become its OWN nation, independent and OPEN, but with THEIR OWN BASIC RESTRICTION, and the nations have no control.(no body wants this to happen, because all the nations want to REGULATE AND CONTROL IT)(THEIR WAY).
    4. TURN OFF ALL DISCUSSION/chats/anything that would allow more then 1 person to communicate with another.(no more internet phone service, has to be Wired or Cellphone ONLY, no encryption)(couldnt happen, as long as 1 person could MAKE a chat program)
    5. LET each nation decide WHAT is allowed in THAT section of the net. Possible. But How many people/gov's Understand that LOCALLY(in most cases) there is NO ACCESS. Only threw the internet and going 1000+ miles away can a person Find what they are looking for. Localizing The NET, you would NEED to create your OWN little PART of it, instead of allowing others to make ALL of the NET by corporate decision.
      I can see it now, and 48 sections in the USA, all localized for each state only.

    Any other ideas on how this could be done?? even failure will teach the World or the tech corps.
    And the failure of the tech corps over the last 20 years HAS TAUGHT THEM many things. They have learned allot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Feb 2021 @ 2:10pm

    Twitter, punishing poor folk they just don't want to deal with.

    I mean I played it off as being a nym means no giving them a cell number, but the truth is I'm fscking poor.

    My life hit massive changes & well cell phone isn't something that I require for quality of life. For less per month then I was paying for the cell I get actual unlimited internet for a single price for a full year.

    Yes I know that believing me comes at a cost, I surround myself in mystery & hyperbole. But Mike & others have seen how losing this social outlet takes a serious toll on me, & being confronted with the idiotic monolith that says oh if you can't provide a number let us know... and then 16 days & multiple reminders I can't provide a number they magically discovered their bot hunting AI tagged me by mistake.

    I'm sure it would have taken longer or never happened but I know people who know people who went to bat for me & suddenly the monolith moved. 16 days & I needed Mike's help (who Jack pays attention to on teh twitters) & Cory Doctrow (yep that famous author guy, I know him too) to get anything to happen.

    How the fsck is the average user supposed to handle this?
    They obviously know that not everyone has a cell phone, yet in practice the system just ignores people pointing out they need to use another path you claim is there but refuse to reveal.

    For the life of me I do not understand Twitters obsession with 'before we can let you serve your punishment, give us your cell phone number so we can text you and prove it is your number.'
    I guess maybe they just want to use those numbers to buy more data about you form the data brokers to see if you are worthy of an account.

    Their intention was to hit me on the nose with a newspaper, you spread the covid misinfo, NAUGHTY, BAP, Now let us text you & THEN we'll let you be chided again & generously let you delete the tweet so that the countdown timer for your sin can begin.
    No interactions with the good people of twitter, only your own tribe for 12 hours... then we'll all sing kumbaya but if you do this again... we might ban you for life!!

    Lets see I've been suspended 3 times now...
    The first 2 they admitted they fscked up & said sorry...
    Crumple up a piece of paper, now smooth it out, tell it sorry... is it pristine again?
    Now I am sitting being punished longer than the MRA asshole who talks about doing horrible things to actual people, he gives them a cell number & is back in 12/24 hours to his cheering fans for having escaped Twitmo.

    I might be an extreme edge case, but am I?
    The monolith will not admit to being a complete shitshow in how their rules are applied & they definitely do not want to admit what their false positive rate is.

    The monolith will not tell us the average wait time for users that fall outside of the get a text & serve your time (they do have a trendy oh we're really busy b/c of the covid so it might take a few extra days... its been a fscking week assholes).

    The monolith will not tell us if there is a review of cases where the gay guy called himself faggot, was banned, appeal denied, appeal denied, & then magically oopsie we messed up.

    I mean I can identify several problems with what happened from the details I know (monolith provided nothing)
    The tweet was 2 yrs old - this should have been a red flag.
    The tweet was reported by multiple mutuals - this should have been a red flag.
    User directly asked for an explanation of how calling himself a bad word was promoting hatred towards others. - The word faggot overruled logic (pay no attention to the results of a search for the word faggot on the platform).

    The monolith will not tell us what happens to bad faith reporters.
    The people who mass reported me, in an attempt to get someone else booted off the platform, we're so excited to take me out... until they figured out I wasn't a sock for their actual target, I was collateral damage in their pissing contest.
    Did they serve a single minute in Twito?
    Why is it okay to lock me out for weeks but people who abused the system got to run around all excited that they took me down?

    I mean I get the fear of revealing any superduper secrets might let bad actors game the system...
    stares at a system being gamed daily anyways

    I joke with Mike & Raccoon Dad (I MISS YOU TIM!!) about moderation here, I manage to trigger it more than the average real person (i think, maybe? Mike have we ever counted?) I stopped being upset by it early on, because the tradeoff of me hitting moderation is the thousands of posts that are spam & stupid that get caught. I've accepted that how I post & interact with the site sometimes smacks me on the nose with a newspaper.
    The biggest difference is if I reach out to TD support, they do something in a reasonable amount of time. (Usually, couple times they've been slow but they have other stuff to take care of they aren't paid just to handle appeals like some monolith employees who sniff glue).
    Hell you can see 2 of my posts this week where I just include the Thanks for kicking this out of moderation line b/c I know I will have triggered it, I'm to fscking old to change how I interact with the site so I accept it. I can see the benefit... I can't see the benefit on the monolith b/c homeopaths put on lab coats and post covid scare information and they are still posting to this day... but I make a snarky comment mocking the insane beliefs & BAM!

    Oh hell what if I found the 1 Trump supporter & offended them by questioning if he actually was the messiah & the covid was just a handy coverup!
    Makes as much sense as any of their decisions in my cases, how many in TwitMo don't have the soapbox I have access to?

    The monolith will never tell... its busy trying to recreate OnlyFans with a 280 character limit...

    Hey Jack, if you see this...
    Know when I get back, the dick pics are gonna start up again.
    The non-penis dick pic protest is the only thing I can do, b/c well your team managing the system are doing a shitty job. If you don't think they are, review my 3 bans & explain how they make ANY sense at all.

    Your team suspended my freind responding to a picture of food for saying it made her want to slap someone.
    She is now suspended for promoting violence towards others.
    By threatening a hypothetical someone.

    Your team smacked another freind with a timeout for her response to a video of someone doing a fake kidnapping for a bday party or something that if someone grabbed her like that she would hit him.
    Wishing ill on others is now a crime on Twitter kids.

    When I get back (I intend to be back, I need the social interaction) expect a Big Brotheresque rebrand of my profile page. If Twitter wants to punish thought-crimes while letting Congresspeople still lie to us with no response... DOUBLEPLUS GOOD! Big Brother is your friend.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Feb 2021 @ 2:23pm

    " told writers to write horrific things with plausible deniability: "it should come across as half-joking.""

    The internet has a name for that...Schrödinger's Douchebag.
    He waits to see your response & if you are upset/offended he was just kidding. Sadly it works more often than it should, but "just joking" is (FSM forgive me) foot tapping in an airport bathroom for racists or others with hateful views.
    They lob a softball & if you don't swing the bat at their head, they toss a couple more always able to retreat into its just a joke.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2021 @ 2:25pm

    This is hilarious. I seem to recall Techdirt, and jackasses like That Anonymous Coward supporting a company’s right to censor people’s comments. As you and your ilk remind us constantly, it’s their private business, and it’s only real censorship when the government does it. “Corporate censorship” doesn’t feel so great when it happens to you, does it? Hey, their company, their choice, amiright?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2021 @ 2:53pm


    The fact that a website attempts moderation is one thing, laughing at the implementation is quite another.

    You're funny

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Less Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2021 @ 2:58pm


    The issue here isn't that they got taken down, it's that if a human had read this tweet, they would have known that it was in jest as a response, and not actually an endorsement of these claims. But a bot that didn't understand context assumed that it was endorsement and took it down. That's the issue. Not the take down, but the bot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 26 Feb 2021 @ 4:21pm


    Yes, it's their right to do this. Nothing I write above challenges that.

    But it's also our right to point out the challenges of doing it well. And, by the way, I include "doing nothing" as an example of a wrong choice. They're ALL wrong choices.

    I don't see how those are even remotely contradictory.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 26 Feb 2021 @ 5:25pm

    Hey, their company, their choice, amiright?

    It is, yes. Twitter staff have an absolute right to moderate the site as they see fit. We all have the absolute right to criticize their decisions. Saying “they have the right to do it” is not the same as saying “they did the right thing”. Your willingness to lie about that position for the sake of trolling — possibly to fill some deep-seated psychological desire for attention that you’re not getting elsewhere — is a “you” problem. Only you can save yourself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Feb 2021 @ 5:29pm


    Oh least you got my name right, so many miss the That at the start.

    Moderation is their right, mocking them when they are shitty at it is my right.

    No we point out their claims of their 1st Amendment rights are violated by a platform aren't based in reality, because the platform isn't the government.

    It is amazing how many of these 'silenced' conservatives take to every possible platform to scream how silenced they are.
    But then deep down, they really don't care.

    They use this as a dogwhistle to scare people into believing that the left is going to tell them they can't say what they want... they can say whatever they want, they however are not due any protection for others being offended by their words & asking them to leave.

    Anyone can say the n word, however the response will vary.
    If you show up in your neighbors yard screaming the n word & burning a cross, you don't then get to complain to the police they they ran you off & made you stop threatening them.

    But then your thought process is about as shallow as the end of the genepool your cousins mated in.

    One does wonder what color the sky is in the world where you think you scored points or put me in my place...

    Thanks for stopping by, buhbye now... grownups are talking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    restless94110 (profile), 27 Feb 2021 @ 10:18am


    Thank you for all of your many articles on the stupidity and futility of content moderation. Not following the 1st Amendment leads to the constant failures and absurdities of the absurd concept of content moderation.

    The principle of Free Speech is to protect speech that is offensive, not to ban or censor it. You have done an excellent job of making the case against all content moderation of any kind.

    Keep up the good work!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2021 @ 10:51am

    Uh That Annonymous Coward did an actual rule violation

    Like it violates Rule 2: Don't be hateful. and Rule 4: Don't be Disruptive of Having a Functional Discourse. The user known as That Anonymous Coward regurgitated a bunch of memes about conspiracy theories and the people who believe in them all being Trump supporters on the topic of: Do people care about Facebook reviews when getting the app? So first of all TAC vents their Two Minutes of Hate on the topic of Conspiracy Theorists and how they are all Trump voters and then on top of that this venting was done off-topic. I agree that TAC shouldn't have been suspended for "spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19". They should have been suspended for Hate Speech and being Disruptive to a conversation for like a day. No forcing them to delete their tweet, just flagging the Tweet itself as Hateful/Disruptive. And before you tell me this is nonsense a question to consider: If a person suddenly jumps into a public conversation on the street on the topic of why people install the Facebook app mocking conspiracy theorists would you consider that a functional contribution to the conversation? I see no reason not to bring rules for proper conversation in the concrete into the virtual and as such in this case: TAC as a user of Internet and someone who regularly has conversations on it your post is nothing but Two Minutes of Hate on a topic that has tangential connection to the actual topic of the conversation Masnik was trying to have and as such is a net loss to the quality of Internet Conversations for me personally.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2021 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Futility

    "Not following the 1st Amendment leads to the constant failures and absurdities of the absurd concept of content moderation."

    The first amendment states what the government is not allowed to do.

    "The principle of Free Speech is to protect speech that is offensive, not to ban or censor it"

    I would like to know where this principle is defined.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Feb 2021 @ 2:44pm

    The First Amendment protects your rights to speak freely and associate with whomever you want. It doesn’t give you the right to make others listen. It doesn’t give you the right to make others give you access to an audience. And it doesn’t give you the right to make a personal soapbox out of private property you don’t own. Nobody is entitled to a platform or an audience at the expense of someone else. That includes you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Feb 2021 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Futility

    I miss when they taught people civics & when those who swore oaths to Constitution actually knew what it said instead of lying to score points in an imaginary war they invented to distract people from how shitty they are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 28 Feb 2021 @ 1:19am


    [Projects facts not in evidence]

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 1 Mar 2021 @ 7:56am


    "They lob a softball & if you don't swing the bat at their head, they toss a couple more always able to retreat into its just a joke."

    Yeah, and that of course is where you find out whether someone is a douchebag or not; whether they realize that something being a joke or not is always going to be up to the audience to determine.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 1 Mar 2021 @ 5:10pm


    We still stand by those claims. The right to do something is not the right to do something without being criticized for it; it’s the right to do so without adverse legal repercussions or government-backed repercussions. Just because they can do something legally and we believe they absolutely should be able to legally doesn’t necessarily mean that we believe that they should in every case or that we believe that they should be free from criticism and/or mockery when they do. It also doesn’t mean that we believe that they won’t make mistakes.

    We may not always agree with how they choose to exercise their rights in every or even any instance, but we will still fight for those rights no matter our personal feelings. Isn’t that how defense of free speech works? “I may not support or agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it,” right? It’s the same thing. We don’t have to agree with all or any of Twitter’s moderation decisions to support their right to make those decisions without government interference.

    If we would change our minds just because we’re suddenly disadvantaged by the outcomes, that would mean that our principles weren’t well-thought-out to begin with or came from ignorance. It’s all well and good to change your mind when presented with new evidence you hadn’t considered or given proper weight to, but the thing is that we took this stance on moderation fully expecting that things like this would happen. We considered the trade-offs and benefits of each possible position carefully and decided based on available evidence, logical deductions, plausible predictions, and fundamental principles, and we chose our current stance accordingly. These cases were well within what we expected to happen, and so we have no reason to change our minds.

    That you can’t understand these distinctions or agree with these principles is, frankly, not my problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 2 Mar 2021 @ 2:29am

    Re: Uh That Annonymous Coward did an actual rule violation

    Bish wha??

    Mike & I follow each other, hes never told me my zingers are bothering him. TBF he only likes like every 4th one.

    2 minutes of hate??
    Are you in the slow reading group baby?? You keep at it and you'll be able to read the word fries on the register.

    Mike asked a question about people who made decisions based on App Store reviews... I answered. As almost anyone who spends any time near me can tell you, my view of the world is skewed.

    Amazingly if you find my tweets so disruptive & upsetting you could gasp mute or even block me. But you should not have the right to claim that no one should see my tweets because they offended you. If the flat earthers are mad that I keep posting the image of the dinosaurs being flipped off the flat earth by a meteor strike, there is that easy handy button so they never have to see me again.

    But then that never seems to be enough for them.

    blinks slowly
    So the Twitter platform is not meant for conversations?
    Where people can just jump in and respond?
    Knowing my evil and disruptive nature Mike could have kept me from responding or even seeing it int he first place....
    But because I mocked 5G death nanites in the vaccine you are offended so I should be punished across the platform for making you sad...


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 2 Mar 2021 @ 4:03pm

    Day 10 or 11 in Twimo...
    Its been so long, I've lost track of time...
    I've told the guards that I lack the tools to fill out the form for my release but they keep ignoring me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Mar 2021 @ 3:49am

    That thing where just because I am paranoid didn't mean they weren't out to get me.

    Twitter announced a brand new program cracking down on Covid Misinformation on the platform & have rolled out a get so many strikes & we'll permanently nuke you.

    Where was this effort IDK a fscking year ago while the liar in chief was posting lies unchecked that actually lead to some idiots killing themselves b/c he said to.

    But Covid Misinfo is the new my child saw a boob on your site, so they are doing a full court idiotic press to just look for the important bits & ignore the context & let apathy drive users away from the platform as their appeals are ignored by the monolith of stupid.

    I'm gonna miss them recreating OnlyFans with 280 character limits... b/c if you think the premium content won't have pron I have this bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Mar 2021 @ 11:44am

    clears throat


    Who me? Just having a small nervous breakdown without Twitter to chat on... I mean CPAC and the nazi symbol broke and I couldn't make a single fscking joke!!!!!!!

    Twitter support is useless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 4 Mar 2021 @ 3:16am

    So given the track record tomorrow MIGHT be the first time someone at support notices the tickets I submitted pointing out I can not provide a phone number.

    The punishment for my crime set at 12 hours, but it takes them 2 weeks to allow me to even attempt to serve it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Mar 2021 @ 7:10am

    So I put
    cannot provide a phone number
    many many times in the latest appeal, perhaps this time they will note I don't have a number to give them and they should let me use the alternate path that they claim to offer but I've never seen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Mar 2021 @ 10:08am

    Still locked out...

    Cranky faggot got cranky...

    Locked out since the 19th of Feb because I DO NOT HAVE A CELL PHONE.
    I've been ignored for weeks and really sorta wondering why...
    A soft perma-ban, is it because I'm poor? Gay? Disabled? Call you out on your stupid rulings? Sent Jack non-penis dick pics as a protest over stupid bans?
    Posted a tweet mocking conspiracy theories that somehow you magically claim was spreading misinfo & doubled down on that ruling in minutes when I appealed... Almost as smart as the time you suspended me for calling myself faggot b/c I was promoting hatred towards others yet no one has EVER managed to explain over the 2 denied appeals & finally removing the ban... HOW IS CALLING MYSELF A NAME PROMOTING HATRED TOWARDS OTHERS?
    I mean I love the complete commitment to ignoring reality and logic y'all have shown, but locked out for going onto week 3 for a tweet you set the "punishment" at a 12 hours only tweeting to followers period...
    I have to ask, what the fuck is wrong with you people?
    I have told you time & time again I DO NOT HAVE A CELL PHONE so I can't jump through the normal hoops. The website claims there is something you can do, but instead I'm left locked out with no responses from you.
    Thats awesome support.
    If only you hadn't locked me out 2 times before for bullshit reasons that were overturned after I asked my friends for help, they would still have favors to burn to help me.
    This system is bullshit, rules are bullshit because they all change based on whoever decides you should be punished, & you get left in limbo unless you fit into the system where the entire world has a cellphone...
    Weeks without a reply...
    How the fuck is that not a failure of your system?
    I'd be more polite but 2 fucking weeks of silence from y'all means I need to get louder.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Mar 2021 @ 7:13pm

    As the sun sets on Day 18 and Twitter still has yet to respond.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 Mar 2021 @ 11:56am

    3 fscking weeks without a single response from Twitter.

    Still going to say its not because I pissed someone somewhere off?
    Cause I won't fscking believe it, even with their whole oh its taking us extra time to answer things... 3 weeks is unacceptable.
    If not for the 'you must have a cellphone' hoop I could have been back by now, but instead being poor means I don't fscking matter.

    Can someone please explain why the fsck they require a cellphone number so they can text a code and prove it is your number?
    Can someone please explain why they even bother to say that if you cannot provide a phone number they will help... because these assholes have NEVER EVER shown me this alternate path exists, but they have shown me that I can be suspended, appeals denied, & be ignored then magically someone notices that NOTHING I DID VIOLATED A GOD DAMN THING and then I'm back with a shitty apology.

    If my tweet violated the rules my punishment was at at 12 hours of only being able to talk to my followers.
    3 weeks later and I can;t use the platform at all... until I give them a cellphone number & served out 12 hours.
    How can I provide that which I do not have?

    There have been MRA's who got their followers to tweet death & rape threats who were forced off the platform for less time then I have served... tell me again this isn't personal?

    How many of us "undesirables" were just brushed off the platform & they didn't have my will to make as much fscking noise as possible about them doing it?
    I guess I am slow and stupid, I thought the platform was for everyone & that they would be fair.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 12 Mar 2021 @ 6:19pm


    Dude, please calm down. I understand your frustration, believe me. However, this isn’t Twitter, and none of us are responsible for what’s going on with you. And yes, I’m sure that there are plenty of people who’ve done more reprehensible things than you who have gotten better treatment on Twitter than you.

    And, not to defend Twitter or anything, but I can understand why they want the phone number. It’s just basic cybersecurity. Why you were locked out to begin with, I don’t know, but I’m sure that, the way it’s set up, if you’re locked out of your account for any reason, whether it’s your fault or theirs, this is literally the only way they can allow you access to your account again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 15 Mar 2021 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re:

    So the other 2 times they unlocked my account and apologized without me providing a cellphone number was a fluke?

    Explain how it is cybersecurity, because no one else has ever been able to.
    I have NEVER used a cell phone to access their systems.
    They have no recorded number to compare it to.
    This step is just so they can text a code to prove its my number, so I can then proceed to the next step of deleting the offending tweet & serving a 12 hour punishment of not being able to talk to other people who don't know me.
    They claim if you cannot provide a number they can help.
    Lets see, I don't have a cell phone (thanks poverty), even if I had a cell phone giving my real world name to Twitter seems like a bad thing to do, it sort of defeats me being a nym.

    How does knowing my name & cell phone number have anything to do with if I can delete a tweet they claim was spreading covid misinfo & serve a timeout?

    4 days until its been a full month.

    No responses.

    There is something terribly wrong in their system or perhaps it is working as it is supposed to.

    Keeping undeseriable people off the platform with impossible tasks & silence violating their own published policies to do it.

    Understand that some of these posts are copies of what I've sent to Twitter, and I am incandescent in my rage.

    While it could just be them being slow & stupid, I have a very hard time believing the last 2 timesouts I got weren't because I upset someone in support.

    Random bot detecting code - yeah no.
    Covid Misinfo - Yeah nothing to do with berating support for several stupid timeouts & permabans of others I know or my protest of sending Jack nonpenis dick pics.

    4 days it'll be a month, tell me again this is how its supposed to work?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 16 Mar 2021 @ 3:42pm

    I am SURE this had nothing to do with their AI learning massive purge of QAnon people where nearly every appeal was denied & now Twitter is going to unradicalize them & after reeducation allow them to use the platform again.

    Big Brother is Love, Love Big Brother.

    Hey @Jack you said people don't trust your platform... I FSCKING WONDER WHY.
    My appeal was prerejected because it had keywords you trained the bot on you ignorant git.
    Few humans reviewing appeals or I dunno people pointing out they can't play your cellphone texting game...
    And with Twitters stated goal of unradicalizing & reeducation ummm giving you a phone number so you can buy more data about the people to make sure you're deprogramming takes is about as smart is moments...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Mar 2021 @ 7:19pm

    Soon it will be day 39 without any response.

    Yep it was totes the "misinformation"
    And it was so horrible staffers who have seen the tweet end up in care homes & this explains the delay in responding that it shouldn't have been timeout worthy or telling me how to delete the evil tweet that they've kept me from doing... for over a month.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 20 Apr 2021 @ 2:36pm

    For 60 days I have repeated I do not have a cell phone, this means I can not provide you what I do not have to get the magic code so I can delete the tweet that allegedly violated the rules.
    Will there be any assistance forthcoming?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Apr 2021 @ 8:55pm

    It has been over 70 days with no response.
    I do not have a mobile phone, I can not provide a phone number.
    From the lack of response, can I just assume that this is a soft permaban?
    Some suggest I am being punished for not being polite in my communications, we are now over 70 days for a 'punishment' that was set at 12 hours. Am I allowed to be upset & irate now?
    You are punishing me for being poor, a cell phone is a luxury and refusing to help me reflects poorly on the company & highlights how policy is unevenly applied.

    A tweet that did not spread misinformation has been leveraged into 70 days of denying me the ability to remove the tweet & resume tweeting.

    This is not a contest of wills, I DO NOT OWN A CELL PHONE.
    If there is no intention of assisting me & leaving me locked out just tell me.

    Content moderation at scale is impossible, but the decision to ignore me repeating I can not give you the phone number I do not have, for a cell phone I do not own, so I can get a text so then I can delete the tweet.

    This continuing over 2 months is punishment or attempting to extract a cellphone number so you can know who I really am.
    Neither of those options reflect well on the company.
    I use a pseudonym, I have been targeted in lawsuits seeking to unmask me, so I protect my actual identity.

    If the new policy is no one on twitter can be anonymous perhaps just admit it rather than play silly games like this to obtain identifying information about who users are.

    70 Days.
    I have to believe that this is targeting me for something much larger than a single tweet mocking covid deniers that magically was called spreading misinformation.

    This is abusive behavior.

    In the middle of a pandemic you've cut me off from what passes for social interaction & just ignore me while demanding something I can not give you as the key to getting back into my account.

    You are not being the person Mr. Rodgers wanted you to be, and this entire incident is a completely shameful abuse of power on the part of twitter.

    Perhaps you hoped I would just go away rather than having to figure out how to explain it taking 70+ days to provide any response or assistance.

    I am still here, I do not own a cell phone so I can not provide a phone number. Would someone please help me now?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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