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Community Champion

Twitter controlling content and shaping "opinions"

I have experienced as well as others Twitter censoring content that disagrees with several points of views. It is also trying to influence "opinion" by limiting the ability to like a tweet.

They do this by flagging an account as "spam" and place it in a "restricted" capacity for 3 days.

I wanted to out them as being manipulative as my personal account was done this way. I didn't even post anything, just was liking other peoples tweets in regards to the WHO and what should happen to their leadership.

I have heard other people complaining about the same thing and it seems to lean one way politically. 

Yes, I know it is "their" platform and that if I don't like it I can choose not use it so spare me the soap box speech about that if that is how you want to respond. If they are going to lean a certain way they need to publicly come out and state that instead of shadow banning accounts and trying to appear that they are "neutral".

 

I was also dismayed that in their notification to me and others there was no way to dispute it. My account was just flagged as "spam" and I had to accept my "punishment". Someone or something decided it was "spam" and that was it. If I had "misbehaved" there wasn't any way for me to know what behavior triggered this. Twitter needs to do better or come out and state their true intentions.

7 Replies
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Newcomer I

Re: Twitter controlling content and shaping "opinions"

CISOScott has a point.  The Second Circuit Court ruled last summer that Trump can't block users without violating free speech.

 

They said: 

 

The First Amendment prohibits an official who uses a social media account for government purposes from excluding people from an “otherwise open online dialogue” because they say things that the official finds objectionable, Judge Parker wrote.

 

Well, Trump is just a twitter user...yes, perhaps an important and even "Official Government" user, but still just a user.  Twitter is a platform.  Don't we have a First Amendment right to free speech regardless who blocks it? Doesn't Twitter violate our First Amendment rights when it excludes people from otherwise open online dialogue because they say things that Twitter finds objectionable?

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Contributor III

Re: Twitter controlling content and shaping "opinions"

I think part of it comes down to that these platforms are mainly used by sheeple and they don't seem to think very deeply on the usage. They make their happy fake little worlds and do what ever they can to keep it that way to keep the user base. I would like to see the day facebook adds a dislike button! I heard the tested it oversea and I'm guessing it didn't go over that well... You mean not everyone actually likes what I post! OMG!

 

John-

Highlighted
Community Champion

Re: Twitter controlling content and shaping "opinions"

Well the reason we don't have dislike buttons is for fear of cyber bullying. 

 

The only reason I even have a twitter account is because I set it up so I could notify members of my travel basketball team of the times of the games. After I disbanded those teams I just kept it.

 

I just don't like the skewing of the appearance of the tweets (via number of likes and retweets) by arbitrary means. There are certain websites that I don't go to because I know how they lean politically or otherwise. Twitter doesn't advertise itself as skewed one way or another but we do know that big tech does seem to lean in one direction more than the other. I was shocked (shocked I tell ya) to see my account restricted when I hadn't posted anything, and had only just liked tweets.

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Contributor III

Re: Twitter controlling content and shaping "opinions"

I am going to admit what is probably one of my short comings. I don't really understand how a dislike button translates into bullying. I mean if you are posting nasty things I can understand that. I mean you can post a bunch of cat videos and some I might like and some I will dislike and I wouldn't be trying to bully, but rather saying what I personally like and dislike, so what am I missing? There is probably more to this than I can grasp and that is why I'm asking.

 

John-

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Contributor III

Re: Twitter controlling content and shaping "opinions"

Frankly, I left Twitter back in the fall of 2016 when the platform lost any value to me a platform. Twitter went completely political and I went another way.

 

What I have gathered here is that I made the right decision as Twitter is still political platform and a little of what it used to be.

 

- b/eads

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Community Champion

Re: Twitter controlling content and shaping "opinions"

It is a consideration of appearance thing. People are so worried that they might be seen as helping a mean cyber bully succeed that they remove the dislike button for everyone. Also since this society has become so litigious, businesses are afraid that they could be sued if a person made a bad choice and committed suicide or performed another self-harm incident and it was traced backed to "I got 200 dislikes on my cat video so I am going to kill myself because no one likes me" type of comment.

 

As someone who was bullied myself, I can see a little of their argument, but not back it 100%. Since so many young people now turn to social media  for their sense of self-worth and self-esteem, I understand taking a cautionary step into this void, but people do need to not tie their existence to how popular they are on social media. I am in favor of a dislike button just so you could (potentially) see how a topic is trending. I know the systems as they are now are ripe for abuse with bots and fake accounts, etc. so we wouldn't be able to truly rely on them as indicators. If we can fix these other problems, then maybe we could use it in the future.

 

There should also be a campaign to help young people know that their self-esteem does not come from social media, it comes from within and becoming strong yourself.

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Contributor III

Re: Twitter controlling content and shaping "opinions"

@CISOScott 

 

Very well said and thank you for enlightening me. It all makes sense and I did not think things where just that bad, or maybe I did not want to think they were that bad. I feel that just having a Like button is psychologically damaging in that it build false self esteem and almost a glass ego, so that when people are in the real world the slightest thing can bring it all down. Maybe that's why there are these "safe spaces" which I also do not agree with most of the time because I see it an an extension of the problem created online. I too was bullied a lot growing up and I almost think in a way some level of bullying might be need just to help us learn to fight back. Some days we do things that are good and people will like it and other days, not so much and it's important to learn and understand that other people do not define us. I personally have gotten to a point where if I see someone yelling at a clerk or something I just think, wow what must this person have going on where the only power they feel is being able to do this. I am also a big believer is breaking cycles and see it as a big problem. It was a harsh reality when I found out that not everyone grew up like I did, but to me I just thought it was normal life. Realizing there is a different life out there than what we believe was normal makes all the difference but not easy. To bad places like Facebook would introduce mental health into the platform...

 

 

John-