Social media has always had problems with filtering and monitoring inappropriate content, but those issues have been extra toxic on Twitter in particular because it’s a unique type of service: it’s built on microblogging, meaning it’s short, it’s quick, and it spreads fast.
It’s not difficult to find hate speech, propaganda, sexism, racism, and all kinds of negative isms on Twitter. Just two or three clicks plus plenty of scrolling and users will immediately see the site’s dark, appalling side — and that’s exactly the problem, how easy it is to get there.
Twitter epicly fails at shutting down inappropriate content, and that hasn’t really changed for a long time. Some users even regard Twitter as an incredibly toxic place on the internet, which is a pretty staggering description for a site that’s not even niche. Is it cancer for the eyes? Not quite — but it’s headed there at an alarming pace.
Twitter has dealt with issues of harassment and toxicity in the past, with nearly always the same results: it fails. But it’s now promising that it will crack down harder on many unsettling activities in the site, specifically “revenge porn.”
Twitter said on Oct. 27 that it would begin imposing stricter rules on sharing sexual photos and videos of other people without their consent, otherwise referred to as revenge porn. The updates follow recent criticism on Twitter’s handling of such incidents. This summer, for instance, celebrity Rob Kardashian posted naked photos of his ex-girlfriend, which remained on Twitter for half an hour before being taken down.
Past rules on revenge porn prohibited people from posting “intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent.” The new rules, on the other hand, provide more clarity on what Twitter deems as inappropriate and how it plans to sanction violators. For one, the new rules now prohibit publishing compromising images of others taken by hidden cameras or other secretive methods. Images and videos captured privately and not intended for publishing are also prohibited.
Still, Twitter says “some forms of consensual nudity and adult content” are allowed.
Accounts that violate the new policies on revenge porn will be suspended once Twitter identifies that the content was distributed without the subject’s permission. Retweeters of the said content will be asked to remove offending tweets and be warned that if they continue violating the policies, their account will be suspended, too.
On paper, the new policies seem straightforward enough, but it’s difficult to gauge whether they’ll be effective. Just consider this: Twitter also doesn’t allow hate speech and harassment to plague the site — how’s that going? It’s not enough to put a sign that says “no revenge porn allowed.” Twitter has to close the doors permanently for those who violate its rules. Until then, the site will continue to be a toxic-laden wasteland of hate and harassment.
… Read the rest