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New Revelations Counsel that Twitter is Unable to Detect and Take away Youngster Sexual Exploitation Content material

Musk Will Seek Evidence from Twitter’s Former Product Chief as He Looks to Exit His Takeover Deal

The 2022 information cycle has not been sort to Twitter.

On the again of the Elon Musk takeover saga, and newer revelations that the corporate has been deliberately working to mislead investors, and the market, on various fronts, right now, one other story has raised much more questions on Twitter administration – and what the heck is happening in Twitter HQ.

As reported by The Verge:

In the spring of 2022, Twitter thought-about making a radical change to the platform. After years of quietly permitting grownup content material on the service, the corporate would monetize it. The proposal: give grownup content material creators the power to start promoting OnlyFans-style paid subscriptions, with Twitter preserving a share of the income.”

Porn Twitter would definitely be one heck of a pivot, and the related dangers of not solely immediately acknowledging the presence of such content material, however encouraging it, could be far-reaching, doubtlessly alienating advertisers who would concern being related to extra controversial materials, and welcoming extra scrutiny from US regulators

However neither of those is the explanation that Twitter determined to desert the challenge:

Earlier than the ultimate go-ahead to launch, although, Twitter convened 84 staff to kind what it referred to as a “Pink Crew.” The aim was “to pressure-test the choice to permit grownup creators to monetize on the platform, by particularly specializing in what it could appear to be for Twitter to do that safely and responsibly”[…] What the Pink Crew found derailed the challenge: Twitter couldn’t safely permit grownup creators to promote subscriptions as a result of the corporate was not – and nonetheless just isn’t – successfully policing dangerous sexual content material on the platform.

Particularly, the Pink Crew discovered that Twitter ‘can not precisely detect youngster sexual exploitation and non-consensual nudity at scale’, an issue that exists proper now, with Twitter repeatedly falling wanting agreed requirements and processes to detect and take away such materials.

The investigation discovered that as Twitter has grown, its funding in detecting dangerous sexual content material has not elevated in-step, with the corporate as a substitute prioritizing development over all else, leaving main gaps in its processes.

The revelations are one other startling perception into the state of Twitter, which can or will not be riddled with bots, and already hosts a lot porn content material {that a} seek for nearly any time period within the app will ultimately unearth some surprising video clip in-stream.

That, in itself, ought to see the app come beneath growing regulatory scrutiny – whereas The Verge additionally notes that Twitter has truly turn into extra of a spotlight for grownup performers lately, as a consequence of Tumblr’s resolution to ban adult content in 2018. That implies that Twitter is now one of many solely mainstream platforms that enables customers to add sexually specific pictures and movies, which has seen extra within the grownup business use it as a promotional software for his or her content material and companies.

And amid this, Twitter’s capability to detect and take away dangerous sexual content material has been in regular decline. Which looks as if a catastrophe ready to occur, with Twitter doubtlessly one courtroom case away from main penalties on such.

Marvel how Elon feels about that?

Musk, in fact, has been seeking to exit his $44 billion Twitter takeover bid due, ostensibly, to the truth that Twitter, in Musk’s view, has lied concerning the presence of bots and spam on its platform.

Twitter has repeatedly said that bots and spam make up 5% of its energetic person rely, however the Musk case has additionally compelled Twitter to disclose that it bases this assessment on very limited testing.

Twitter’s quarterly estimates are primarily based on day by day samples of 100 mDAU, mixed for a complete pattern of roughly 9,000 mDAU per quarter.”

That’s a complete pattern measurement of 9k accounts – or 0.0038% of Twitter’s viewers. On this respect, Musk might be proper to query Twitter’s metrics, while further revelations from former Twitter security Chief Peter Zatko about Twitter’s important safety vulnerabilities and flaws might additionally result in additional examination of the corporate’s processes, and even fines because of failures on this respect.

Add in these new claims regarding the corporate’s failure to detect and take away dangerous sexual content material, and Elon, if he does ultimately turn into Tweeter in Chief, may very well be compelled to pay out a raft of penalties amongst his first actions on the app, which might considerably affect the platform’s capability to align together with his grand imaginative and prescient of a future the place tweets contribute to ‘preserving the light of consciousness’.

Primarily based on the wording of the takeover settlement, I’m undecided that any of those new revelations can truly be factored into the Musk takeover both method. But it surely makes much more sense now why Twitter was keen to simply accept Musk’s buy-out bid, and why it labored to determine a contract with few exit clauses to lock him into the deal.

However this, in fact, is an except for the principle concern – that Twitter is failing to guard weak folks via its incapability to police dangerous grownup content material, which an inner overview has acknowledged, to the purpose that it couldn’t see any technique to repair it.

That’s a significant concern, and needs to be a significant level being pushed by regulators, who will now seemingly search to grill Twitter’s execs about these newest revelations.

What’s going to that imply for the way forward for the platform? It’s not good, but when the trade-off is that we find yourself with a greater, safer on-line ecosystem, that higher protects customers, then Twitter needs to be held to account, inside any capability attainable.  

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