This week on Valley Drag we talk about Twitter’s new content policy and Russian ads on social media in the last election cycle.
Content Warning: We might be using some specific terms during this episode that are offensive; we’re trying to discuss the specifics of Twitter’s content policy choices. For some people, these terms are powerful and they’ve reclaimed them and don’t want to see them policed. For others, they’re offensive.
Content Policy Stuff
- Twitter is revising policies about content in response to some really long-standing issues
- “We’re providing more specific detail around the types of content we consider to be “graphic violence” or “adult content.” We’re also updating our Help Center page so it includes examples that help set expectations around the types of content covered by this policy. Please note that the media policy will be updated again on November 22, to account for hateful imagery.”
- (is “adult content” really higher priority than “hateful imagery”?)
- The first wave of this is that Twitter is blocking (currently just photo) searches for what it considers sensitive words
- Good thread on this here https://twitter.com/studentactivism/status/927206733168238593
- TL;DR – By policing specific terms, Twitter is making themselves liable for the things that don’t get flagged (but should)
- Twitter changed it’s Abuse Policy wording
- https://web.archive.org/web/20171001031544/https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311 “We believe in freedom of expression and in speaking truth to power,”
- https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311 “We believe in freedom of expression and open dialogue”
- Upcoming changes to policy https://blog.twitter.com/official/en_us/topics/company/2017/safetycalendar.html
Stuff with Ads and Russia
- Facebook, Twitter, and Google all had Russian propaganda ads purchased on their platforms, plus bots on facebook and twitter posting.
- Twitter found about 200 accounts https://www.recode.net/2017/9/28/16378104/twitter-senate-house-russia-investigation-facebook-presidential-election-fake-news
- Facebook found that 3,000 ads were purchased https://www.recode.net/2017/9/25/16363920/facebook-russia-ads-interference-election-social-divisions-tensions
- The goal was to influence the 2016 Election and / or generally disrupt the democracy process.
- Twitter, Facebook, and Google were called to testify in front of congress.
- They claimed that while they’re working on it, it’s almost impossible for them to always know who / what is making on their platforms.
- Contrast this to the 2000 elections when media outlets called the state of Florida early to George W Bush.
- The media outlets were called to testify in front of congress, they took responsibility for any influence they could have had.
- Social Media companies do not view themselves as Media companies even though they totally are.