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Twitter issues Apology for Censoring ‘Bisexual’ Hashtag

Twitter has been constantly brinigng out new rules for things like unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorify violence

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San Francisco, November 6, 2017 : Twitter which updated its policies last week to fight abuse in an efficient way has come under fire for censoring LGBTQ terms like “bisexual” on its platform.

According to The Verge on Monday, while updating its policies, the micro-blogging website also censored the “bisexual” hashtag under its adult content rules.

The biggest updates on the platform included abusive behaviour, self-harm, spam and related behaviours, graphic violence and adult content.

ALSO READ Twitter Toughens Abuse Rules – and now has to Enforce Them

Angry Twitterati posted against the move.

“If you search #bisexual and click on photos or news there are no results. This is bi-erasure. @Twitter has done this. We exist,” tweeted one user.

The updates last week were part of revamp to Twitter’s policies surrounding online abuse.

Reacting to the latest controversy, Twitter posted: “We’ve identified an error with search results for certain terms. We apologize for this. We’re working quickly to resolve & will update soon”.

Earlier in October, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had said that the social media platform would take a more aggressive stance in its rules and its enforcement of them.

Dorsey, in his announcement which was a response to the #WomenBoycottTwitter protest, said that the platform would develop new rules for things like unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorify violence. (IANS)

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Twitter Gets Investigated By Ireland Over Data Collection

Both Facebook and Twitter have faced lawsuits for collecting data on links shared in private messages

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Twitter on a smartphone device. VOA

 Twitter is reportedly facing an investigation by privacy regulators in Ireland over data collection in its link-shortening system, the media reported.

Privacy regulators in Ireland have launched an investigation into exactly how much data Twitter collects from t.co, its URL-shortening system, The Verge reported late on Saturday.

The investigation stems from a request made by UK professor Michael Veale under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a comprehensive European privacy law under which EU citizens have a right to request any data collected on them from a given company.

Facebook, Twitter
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, left, accompanied by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey are sworn in before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on ‘Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms’ on Capitol Hill. VOA

But when Veale made that request to Twitter, the company claimed it had no data from its link-shortening service. The professor was sceptical, and wrote to the relevant privacy regulator to see if Twitter was holding back some of his data.

Now, that investigation seems to be underway. The investigation, first reported by Fortune, is confirmed in a letter obtained by The Verge, sent to Veale by the office of the Irish Data Privacy Commissioner, the report said.

Initially designed as a way to save characters in the limited space of a tweet, link-shortening has also proved to be an effective tool at fighting malware and gathering rudimentary analytics.

Twitter
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

Those analytics services can also present a significant privacy risk when used in private messages.

Also Read: Facebook Tackles Fake News, Deletes Almost 800 Accounts

Both Facebook and Twitter have faced lawsuits for collecting data on links shared in private messages, although no wrong-doing was conclusively established in either case. (IANS)

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