Mistakes made by Twitter .. photos and videos and backfires

Twitter recently adopted new rules for photos and videos on its platform with the aim of fighting harassment online, but the result has failed, according to activists and experts who say supporters of the American far right are taking advantage of these changes to protect themselves and harass their opponents.

“We have become aware of a large number of malicious and coordinated reports, unfortunately ours team they made several mistakes, ”Twitter told AFP.

“We have corrected these errors and are conducting an internal investigation to ensure that these rules are being used appropriately,” the company added.

This was the kind of problem many anti-racist activists expected when the new policy was announced. Their fears were quickly confirmed, when researcher Christopher Goldsmith posted on Twitter a screenshot of a message posted by the far right on Telegram, which said, “Due to the new privacy policy on Twitter, things are unexpectedly working to our favor “.

“Anyone with a Twitter account should report cases of doxing (the practice of divulging information private on a person) for the following accounts, “the letter states, along with a dozen account names on the network.

Photo of 2019

The Twitter account of Philadelphia-based activist and researcher Gwen Snyder was banned this week following reports linked to a series of photos posted in 2019 showing a local politician at a demonstration organized by far-right group Proud Boys. Instead of appealing to Twitter, I preferred to delete the photos and talk about what happened.

Snyder told AFP that “Twitter removing my work from its platform is very dangerous and will favor and encourage the fascists.”

To justify its new policy, Twitter noted that “sharing personal content, such as photos or videos” can “violate a person’s privacy and cause emotional or physical harm.”

But this rule does not apply to “public figures” or when “content associated with Tweets is shared in the public interest or in a way that adds value to public discussion “.

“Delete the prove”

However, activist Chad Lauder’s account was banned in California, after reports related to the footage of a demonstration against vaccines and a clash outside the home of a former Vice reporter.

“Twitter says I have to delete my tweets which include pictures of people in a public event that i media they have already followed up, or I will never be able to recover my account, “Lauder told AFP. He pointed out that this report was the third against his account within 48 hours.

“The broad account of the far right constitutes the latest round of a continuous and concerted effort to erase the prove of their crimes and wrongdoing, “he added.

Interestingly, Twitter announced its new policy the day after Parag Agrawal took over as president of the network, replacing Jack Dorsey, its co-founder.

Experts have seen that these new rules are difficult to implement, despite the good intentions behind them. That is in part due to the fact that the platform has become essential for identifying people associated with the far right, with internet users transforming in investigators by posting their names or identifying information.

Giving weapons to extremists

For his part, Michael Breen, head of Human Rights First, said: “Twitter has provided extremists with a new weapon to harm those most in need of protection and who highlight the danger.”

And Twitter announced Tuesday that it will allow users (except public figures) to request the removal of photos or videos in which appear since social network if they have been published without their consent. But the network acknowledged on Friday that implementing this procedure ran into great difficulties.

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