Tuesday April 23, 2019
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Here’s Why Twitter Blocked This French Government Campaign

Other users in the platform are also finding the decision hilarious

donald trump
FILE - A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

In what appears to be a case of scoring a self-goal, a French government ad campaign intended to encourage voting in the upcoming European Parliament elections has been blocked by Twitter for fear of violating France’s new fake news law, the media reported.

According to the new law which is in force since December, France requires online political campaigns to declare the billing information – who paid for them, and how much was spent, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

The French government’s information service (GIS) wanted to promote the campaign “#Ouijevote” (#YesI’mvoting) on Twitter.

But the microblogging site rejected the campaign after determining it to be a political campaign.

Twitter, tweets, India
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

Twitter’s decision to block the voter registration campaign baffled many.

“Twitter’s priority should be to fight content that glorifies terrorism. Not campaigns to register on the electoral lists of a democratic republic,” France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castanter was quoted as saying in a tweet.

Other users in the platform are also finding the decision hilarious.

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“In #France, @TwitterFrance has decided to block a goverment sponsored campaign to promote voting in europeans elections… by invoking a recent french law against #fakenews.

#Ouijevote,” wrote one user. (IANS)

Next Story

Jack Dorsey Admits Twitter Makes it Easy to Abuse Others

Twitter last year said that making the platform free of abuse, spam and other things that distract from the public conversation is its top priority

Twitter, India
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

Admitting that Twitter makes it “super easy to harass and abuse others”, CEO of the micrblogging platform Jack Dorsey has said that addressing the issue in a systematic way is his biggest worry.

The platform is relying more on Machine Learning (ML) to identify abusive tweets as opposed to having people individually report them, Dorsey said in his TED talk this week, Business Insider reported.

“We have seen abuse, we have seen harassment, we have seen manipulation, automation, human coordination, misinformation,” Dorsey was quoted as saying.

“These are dynamics that we were not expecting 13 years ago.”

Dorsey also lamented that the system places undue weight on followers and likes.

“Right now the system makes it super easy to harass and abuse others,” he said, while adding that Twitter has created a “pretty terrible situation” for women.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

As part of the efforts to make its platform appear less toxic, Twitter this week also announced that it is planning to give people an option to hide replies to their tweets, thereby giving users more control over the nature of conversation they would like to have on the platform.

“Starting in June, we’ll be experimenting with ways to give people more control over their conversations by giving them an option to hide replies to their Tweets,” Donald Hicks, Vice President, Twitter Service and David Gasca, Twitter’s Senior Director, Product Management, Health, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

While the feature has the potential to make trolls invisible, it could make it difficult for users to correct wrong statements made by others.

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Other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram already give users much more power in terms of dealing with the comments to their posts, including the option to delete them.

Twitter last year said that making the platform free of abuse, spam and other things that distract from the public conversation is its top priority. (IANS)