During the past couple of months, there’s been an uptick in discussion regarding social media weaponization, censorship, bots and other manipulation. I’ve been following and participating in this public dialogue with keen interest, especially from the privacy and free speech perspectives. Whereas 2018 was the year of Facebook fiascos, it looks like in 2019 the spotlight has turned on Twitter.
So here’s a blog post about Twitter, made with embedded tweets. Let’s go full meta.
Like I tweeted before, it seems that the noose around the open exchange of ideas keeps tightening, but it’s all for our “protection” & making Twitter “a safe space”. Road to damnation is paved with good intentions.
Some optimist would say that we’re witnessing the great privacy-awakening, where people have begun to understand the concept of “free” online services, promote ideas like #DeleteFacebook, and privacy scandals make it to mainstream news fairly regularly. However, from what I’ve seen, it appears the privacy violations – whether done by purpose or by accident – seems to be getting worse, both in scale (number of people affected) and in terms of data (PII, financial, medical).
Twitter is right at the heart of all this. In theory, they could turn their ship around and be the platform everyone kind of hopes they would be. But unfortunately, none of their recent actions seems to indicate that is happening. The biggest hurdle I think the platform has to overcome first is to stop giving in to ideological pressure. When Twitter Safety recently asked for feedback, I suggested that maybe they could start supporting free speech. 220 retweets and 2,000 likes tell me that I’m not alone with that wish.