View profile

Twitter says it's going to start monitoring our offline behavior [The Interface]

When Twitter verified the account of a white supremacist, it triggered a public-relations crisis that
November 16 · Issue #29 · View online
The Interface
When Twitter verified the account of a white supremacist, it triggered a public-relations crisis that culminated with the company pausing all verifications while it works on a new policy. Yesterday, it said it would strip the verification badges of users who broke its rules, and it actively began doing so.
But plenty of questions remained, and the one I heard most frequently is this: why remove a verification badge instead of simply suspending or banning the account? 
Today I got Twitter on the phone in an effort to answer the question. And what I learned surprised me. The point of yesterday’s change in large part was to announce that Twitter would now consider users’ offline behavior, and that offenses offline could now result in a lost badge. As I put it in a story:
The gist is this: if a user breaks Twitter’s rules on Twitter — that is to say, by tweeting — that user will still be disciplined in all the usual ways, a spokesperson said. What’s new is that Twitter now plans to do at least some monitoring of verified users’ offline behavior as well, to determine whether it is consistent with its rules. If it isn’t, users can lose their badges. And so a hypothetical verified user who tweeted nothing but pictures of kittens but organized Nazi rallies for a living could now retain his tweeting privileges, but lose his verification badge.
Verification used to be a tool meant to authenticate identity; now it’s become a stamp of approval. How Twitter plans to monitor the behavior of its 287,000-plus verified accounts in the real world, when it struggles to get a grip on harassment on its own platform, boggles the mind. And so a move Twitter made to simplify its processes has created more confusion, while hinting that the confusion will only mount over time.

Google’s Featured Answers Aim to Distill Truth—But Often Get It Wrong
Inside Google's Struggle to Filter Lies from Breaking News
Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: 'The system is failing'
The Trust Project brings news orgs and tech giants together to tag and surface high-quality news
Pizzagate: Anatomy of a Fake News Scandal
In her new book, ‘The Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug,’ Sarah Lacy says women should fight back, not ‘lean in’
Wrapping up a Year of Travel
Is HQ Trivia the future of TV
Facebook made an app just for video creators
Instagram now lets you post Stories from the mobile web
Twitter confirms it’s testing a tweetstorm feature
Today featured a disturbing lack of quality takes. Hopefully the takes will resume tomorrow.
And finally
Band uses delay from Facebook Live to loop a song and it's incredible
Talk to me
Questions? Comments? Observations about my offline behavior? 
Did you enjoy this issue?
If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here
Powered by Revue