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Social Networks The Internet Twitter

Twitter Says It's Beating the Trolls (betanews.com) 214

Mark Wilson writes: After making it easier to report abusive tweets and increasing the size of its anti-troll team, Twitter believes it is getting 'bad behavior' under control. As well as bullying of acquaintances and work colleagues, Twitter has also been used to attack celebrities, the gay community, religious groups, and more, with many people feeling driven from the site. It seems that the decision to take a very hands-on approach to troll tackling is starting to pay off. The head of Twitter in Europe, Bruce Daisley, says that the tools that have been introduced have had a real impact on trolling. He goes further, saying that there is a direct correlation between the release of new safety tools and reporting mechanisms, and the drop in unacceptable behavior.
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Twitter Says It's Beating the Trolls

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 26, 2015 @10:55PM (#51188397)

    From what I've read, Twitter is infact censoring some tweets, depending on the terminology used.
    Apparently several gamergate people have been for lack of a better word "shadowbanned" or words which are trending are deliberately not showing up.

    Say what you will about Gamergate (it's certainly a stupid name) - there's some real dipshits involved with it, who've said some ghastly shit.
    There's *ALSO* some perfectly sane people who've said some quite intelligent things, however one side of the debate has succeeded in altering history and current time, by somehow managing to label the entire group, virtually terrorists, including lying about what's been said or done, claiming they are "in the right" regardless of what the other people say, dismissing things that people say because of who they are (strawman) and so on.

    It's been quite eye opening to watch actually and one thing I have noticed which I wouldn't have before, is that I have a far, FAR more skeptical eye on things in the regular and gaming media. It's opened my eyes HUGELY, in how things are reported. "X is bad, X did this, X said this" etc, when some of those things are utterly impossible to prove, outright incorrect, or labeling an entire group for one persons actions - been an educational year.

    FWIW: I'd align myself as closer to GG than not, but certainly not "active" more a casual observer in it all.

    As for twitter censoring and this news article, as I stated, I've heard multiple times in the past 6 months, certain things are simple not being made visible due to who they are or what's being said, even if it's not offensive - use the wrong hashtag, prepare for potential censorship.

    Note: Posting anonymously, as usual with any gamergate discussion of any kind, lest "the good nice guys" harass and dox me (but that side is infallible and that's never occurred before, honest!)

  • Yeah, right (Score:5, Funny)

    by sunderland56 ( 621843 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @10:56PM (#51188399)

    So they're cracking down on common everyday trolls. But, racist/misogynistic/hateful tweets are just fine, if you're a presidential candidate.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or a SJW.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      To be fair, there is a difference between making a general sexist/racist statement and making one about specific people as part of a pattern of behaviour designed to troll them.

      Trump has this far survived by not making a habit of going after the same person repeatedly.

  • Ok... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @10:58PM (#51188409)

    And here's a serious question. Why wasn't that Minnesota politician who doxxed her complaining constituents banned from Twitter? It made national headlines because she was taking a self-righteous "herp derp, take that you racists" view of perfectly sane, non-racist complaints that she was siding with Black Lives Matter as they planned to disrupt access to an airport and the Mall of America.

    Then she takes her account private. You want to drive these trolls off social media? When they do stuff like that, block them from privacy. Make every dirty, rotten thing they've said public.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Crowing about beating trolls is such a great idea. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Will they be cracking down on celebrity trolls as well? Or will they only be taking action on peons who respond to hateful hateful comments from self-righteous celebrities?
     

  • by Kunedog ( 1033226 ) on Saturday December 26, 2015 @11:27PM (#51188509)
    Why didn't the earlier story about internet freedom make any mention of this Twitter banfest, Slashdot? Why was there never a /. story about Vice (where the internet freedom story came from) itself hypocritically silencing the masses by wiping out its own comments section [reddit.com], ensuring that only themselves and approved plebians will have a voice on their site?

    Why was there never a /. story about the ridiculous UN Women/Broadband propaganda report that tried to promote the idea of "cyber-violence" (an awkardly obvious pretense to a desired government crackdown) which proved so embarassing that they had to pull it from public view (and no /. story when that happened either).

    It's abundantly clear that there's an activist arm of the tech news media (which Slashdot, sadly, clearly wants to be part of) that isn't anti-censorship or anti-bullying at all, as long as they get to be (or choose) the approved bullies and censors.
    • i wondered what happened to vice. I for one cannot stand reading articles where I cannot complain about the bad writing or outright lies being presented as truth. Thats why i quit digg when they got bought out and stopped going to vice
    • Why was there never a /. story about the ridiculous UN Women/Broadband propaganda report that tried to promote the idea of "cyber-violence" (an awkardly obvious pretense to a desired government crackdown) which proved so embarassing that they had to pull it from public view (and no /. story when that happened either).

      tbh, I'm kind of glad that didn't show up on Slashdot......

  • Adam Baldwin had his a twitter account banned for a post that said "#gamergate'ers are more attractive and joyous for than anti-gg'ers"

    The whole "troll" excuse, seems to be an excuse to target users who buck the trend of political correctness, gamergate seems to be the largest target of users.

    Even Richard Dawkin had to mention that twitter "thought" police going after people.

    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday December 27, 2015 @12:32AM (#51188723) Journal

      Adam Baldwin had his...

      I love origin stories.

      Even Richard Dawkin...

      You know you're in for a bumpy ride when a sentence starts out like that. And in case anyone doesn't know who Richard Dawkin is, he's mainly famous for getting BOFA'd from space on twitter. Here is the exchange that made him so well-known (the dank memes that follow the actual event are worth the trip):

      https://twitter.com/richarddaw... [twitter.com]

      • Re:Targeted users (Score:5, Informative)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Sunday December 27, 2015 @01:36AM (#51188843) Homepage

        Dawkins (note the s) is famous for writing several very popular, widely translated books on atheism and the delusion of religion. He is also an accomplished evolutionary biologist.

        • He's also got his head firmly stuck in the past and believes that genes are everything. Epigenetics is a thing, but he doesn't seem to accept it.

          • He's also got his head firmly stuck in the past and believes that genes are everything. Epigenetics is a thing, but he doesn't seem to accept it.

            Epigenetics is *widely* cautioned against. Dawkins is not the only notable scientist in this regard; claiming that genes trump epigenetics in expression of characteristics is not in any way unusual. It's a new(ish) field - give it some time.

        • (note the s)

          Don't tell me, tell the guy to whom I was replying. I kept his spelling because I didn't want to confuse him.

  • by NostalgiaForInfinity ( 4001831 ) on Sunday December 27, 2015 @12:31AM (#51188719)

    I hope Twitter will be around for a long time. It's a honey pot for people who think they can engage in social or political commentary in 140 characters or less. The more these people are distracted and kept away from the rest of the Internet, the better.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      If you follow the right people you can find a lot of insight in 140 characters. It forces you to be direct and concise.

      • by fey000 ( 1374173 )

        Yes, that's why all the good books are 140 characters or less.

      • If you follow the right people you can find a lot of insight in 140 characters. It forces you to be direct and concise.

        It also encourages soundbite-quality thinking, because it's impossible to express complex, nuanced ideas.

    • by Maow ( 620678 )

      I hope Twitter will be around for a long time. It's a honey pot for people who think they can engage in social or political commentary in 140 characters or less. The more these people are distracted and kept away from the rest of the Internet, the better.

      You made your point in 256 characters excluding subject; less than two tweets.

      Not sure if

      1. That proves your point (140 characters would have been too brief),
      2. Disproves your point (brevity can allow for insightful posts),
      3. Or if, in solidarity, I should just wander over to Ars where comment lengths are longer than Slashdot.

      (I jest. I have no opinion on Twitter. LoLtards, etc. can make fools out of themselves in 2 or three characters, a point can be made in 140.)

      • You made your point in 256 characters excluding subject; less than two tweets.

        What a predictable and trite response.

        a point can be made in 140

        Some car trips are also shorter than a mile; that doesn't mean that a car that has a range of just a mile is actually a useful car.

        • by Maow ( 620678 )

          You made your point in 256 characters excluding subject; less than two tweets.

          What a predictable and trite response.

          No need to get snotty about it.

          Your point was made, and it was brief & concise, that's all. Seems like a good thing, no?

          a point can be made in 140

          Some car trips are also shorter than a mile; that doesn't mean that a car that has a range of just a mile is actually a useful car.

          The analogy is a bit strained I'd suggest.

          There are modes of transport with very short ranges, but are have very useful in limited scenarios.

          Elevators for one.

          Even forklifts - no one has ever taken one to the limit of its range, but wouldn't want to unload a truck without one.

          Gantry cranes could be seen similarly - they only move back & forth a short distance, but no one could unl

          • There are modes of transport with very short ranges, but are have very useful in limited scenarios.

            Yes, Twitter is good for status updates: "Cat's resting", "Had a nice Xmas dinner with family", etc.

            Expressing political views? Not so much. But with a bit of wit, and thought, I imagine one could express a political though succinctly.

            Of course, you can "express a political thought succinctly", but the 140 character limit limits you to social signaling and declaring your tribal membership. What you can't do is

  • Now that Twitter is winning the Troll Wars, the platform is finally going to turn the corner, right? Any day now?

    It's really hard to censor and block and ban your way to stability and profitability and growth. Creating small circles of users who are banned and blocked from each other isn't a long-term recipe for success.

  • The trolls already won, and everyone knows it. Censorship just changes you from a loser to a whiny loser. Even worse, it is an announcement to the whole world that you can't defend your ideas, which most people understand to mean that your ideas are indefensible.

  • You have a different opinion than mine? You criticized someone who happens to be black, female or other minority?

      TROLLS. STOP TROLLING ME SHITLORD. Everyone knows my politically correct opinion will remain unchallenged until the end of time!

  • Terrorism is a far bigger problem and Twitter only cares and actively works to do something about the trolls, which in comparison, aren't a problem at all. It's disgusting.

  • Is that kinda like "ISIS is contained"?

  • They do not get, what a real troll is. Hint: No bully, harasser, spammer or similiar. You do not notice a real troll, you only notice the reactions.

  • A great idea for a app would be a Troll to PC Converter, maybe "Troll2PC?" Its not that the Trolls are always 'wrong', for all cases, Trolls say it 'wrong' for all cases. I know for a fact I should always use it. I would think of it as Spell Check for Trolls, maybe SpellCheck4Trolls? Of course there's always comedy, "You Know When You're a Troll when you write ..." That probably works better now that I think of it.
  • They're not beating alleged "trolls", they're just trying to remove counter-SJW narrative messages. Twitter protects abuse and doxxing if it supports a leftist cause (e.g. BLM), while removing anti-leftist content of the same caliber (e.g. Sarah Nyberg's acts of child abuse).

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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