Twitter attempts to get rid of hate speech might have opposite effect

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Twitter will be making changes to its platform to help curtail the reputation it has for attracting harassing users. Twitter hopes to shore up its anemic ad base (therefore, revenue), and user growth. The negativity coming across the platform from its users is driving off advertisers to the tune of about $100 million per quarter.

They have implemented three new policies to affect a change:

First, they are attempting to ban the verbal abusers from their platform permanently and then prevent these people from creating new accounts.

Second, they hope to remove tweets from search results that contain “sensitive content.”

Third, they will hide objectionable replies, though these can be accessed by users.

According to ComputerWorld, Twitter is seeking a solution that is too software-controlled when the best answer would be “user moderation,” which is used on other social media platforms. The so-called user moderation method allows users to delete an offensive reply. Twitter does not allow that.

Software controls depend upon inserted algorithms and AI to catch the bad speech, but as sophisticated as this technology is, it can’t intuit words and their variant tones and ironies as well as people can. Twitter can’t upgrade its anti-hate-speech software fast enough because an intelligent determined abuser will find a way past the filters. It becomes a challenge that they want to overcome just for the sake of doing it.

In the end, Twitter’s attempts at using technology to overcome the problem will spur it on; ultimately, the solutions become self-defeating.

 

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