Twitter "sorry" for "mistake" of posting "Kill All Jews" as a trend


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/02/twitter-sorry-for-mistak.html


#2

I always realized that nazism could make a comeback, but I’m surprised how fast we went from 0 to 100 on anti semitism getting mainstreamed.


#3

I doubt I’ll ever find occasion to stop saying it…

Twitter: hapless techies working for feckless managers.

I look forward to the day that this company and Facebook join MySpace in the dustbin of social media companies.

I’m not. The moment right-wing populism started crawling out from history’s paving stones and into executive mansions and parliaments in the West its ever-present companion was going to get mainstreamed, especially since it was starting from > 0.


#4

Me…

worf-facepalm

Right…

DS9-sigh-sisko

About…

enterprise-archer-shran-sad

now…

enterprise-trip-tpol-what

in…

tng-picard-facepalm

real…

tng-riker-what|nullxnull

life…

tos-chekov-signing

seeing…

NZQhi

this stupid shit.


#5

Considering how much ‘training’ there is with AIs and algorithms - how much money is spent on seeing if you’ve mentioned a certain brand name and advertising to you based on that - you’d think twitter or anyone else who suffers from this seeming perpetual problem of hateful rhetoric being spewed across their platforms, would be able to successfully curb that.


#6

It’s the same story from Facebook, Myspace, and civilization at large.

Tech companies don’t want to become content moderators because even when you try to start off simple it turns into building a copy of the entire legal system from first principles.

Pretty soon you have what is in effect a quasi-legal system with judges, prosecutors, defendants, etc… inside of your company sucking up a ton of resources to answer stupid questions that you never wanted to have to answer like “Is breastfeeding pornography?” Answers that society in general has never answered for itself in fact. And then you need to expand the teams to cover every country/culture in the world.

A simple rule like “no anti-Semitic statements” immediately slams into questions of “is it anti-Semitic to say that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is a problem?” “What if it is in response to a terrorist attack?” It’s a rabbit hole with no bottom.


#7

Hmm, you mean it turns out ‘being disruptive’ in fact just means ignoring the rules that apply to everyone else?

What a surprise.


#8

Think of it as an experiment in determining if the rules are still relevant and providing value to society. What if we aren’t constrained by these rules what happens?


#9

But, like, they’re REALLY sorry this time, y’all.


#10

Oh, there’s a bottom, it’s just a bit expensive.
Perhaps there’s a market there.


#11

Yes, that’s pretty much what Facebook, Uber, Twitter, etc. want.

The only problem with that is that they want to be the ones deciding that.

We have various systems for deciding whether the rules are still relevant and providing value to society. They’re called legislatures and elections and all kinds of fancy stuff like that.


#12

I’m not sure there can be a bottom so long as there are people who disagree on what is appropriate. This is an eternal fight.


#13

People think it’s okay to shoot up synagogues is what… among other things, of course.


#14

This is kind of silly to declare. Newspaper editorial staff had to make the same decisions for example, and they were able to do so without involving the judiciary.


#15

The thing is, though, that nothing really “slams” into “is it anti-Semitic to say that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is a problem?” because the answer is politically obvious one way or another, depending on your politics. The inability to understand this and the insistence the question can be addressed algorithmically in the first place is exclusive to nerds.

This notion we have to create some impartial, indifferent, objective algorithmic brain from first principles that then frees us from political bias in policymaking is the specific vanity that these companies are destroying everything with.

P.S. It’s also the true backstory of Dune. (Don’t read the stupid prequels with the evil robots.)


#16

It’s all about priorities. Nazis buy brand-name products, too, and banning them (algorithmically or otherwise) would mean lower quarterly MAU numbers. The shareholders won’t put up with that for very long.

Speaking of things shareholders won’t put up with, Twitter and Facebook aren’t interested in spending the money needed to hire and train human moderators properly or to foster an involved community, both of which are really needed to prevent stuff like this.

It’s not rocket science. Just today I saw one hatemonger join this site, spew his garbage, quickly attempt to retract it, and still get flagged by the community and banned by the moderators – all in the space of less than two hours. Twitter has to deal with issues of scale, but I suspect it has a lot more money in its treasury than BoingBoing does.

Anti-Semitism, bigotry, sexism, and lies become standard aspects of social media, apparently.


#17

Or just be made of humans, and then admit that those humans have an editorial stance. Like you said, newspapers report the news all the time, and deal with this issue. You make your own decisions about what crosses the line for your platform, based on the values of that platform, and then control that. The judiciary needs an appeals process because it purports to be impartial. These companies purporting to be impartial is ridiculous, and is being used to weasel out of other kinds of responsibilities.


#18

What is “obvious” to you has been fought over in real life for years. That’s only one example out of millions. You have to draw lines, and then people will try to get as close to the line as possible so you have to consider redrawing the line and then people get mad because what was previously ok is now not, etc…

No matter what you do someone is going to be personally offended and vocally call you terrible things. It’s a huge effort to try to find the stance that offends the fewest number of vocal people, and you’ll never get it exactly right.

Twitter isn’t going to feel bad for shutting down the “kill all jews” guys, and not too bad for “jews cause world problems”, but then they’re up to “Israel causes world problems” and now they’re sweating, and then “Palestinians deserve to be treated with dignity” and it’s in conflict with the previous stance…

The world is extremely messy and no system of laws has ever been even close to perfect.


#19

dany-this

Literally nothing made by man is neutral, and pretending like we can create something neutral is an idea that needs to be addressed and debunked.


#20

That’s exactly what Twitter did here, and they’re being slammed for it.

They had a stance of not interfering with discourse as much as possible, and it bit them in the ass.