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Twitter ‘Deeply Sorry’ For Failing To Act on Threatening Tweets

The statement came after Ritchie complained to Twitter after Sayoc's tweets were publicised

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Twitter CEO
This April 26, 2017, photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. According to a study released Jan. 24, 2019, a tiny fraction of Twitter users spread the vast majority of fake news in 2016, with conservatives and older people sharing misinformation more. VOA

Twitter has apologised for failing to act on threatening tweets made by Cesar Sayoc who is suspected of sending improvised explosive devices to Democratic leaders and critics of US President Donald Trump.

“We are investigating what happened and will continue to work to improve how we handle concerns raised by anyone on Twitter,” it said in a statement.On October 11, Sayoc published a threatening tweet to former congressional press secretary Rochelle Ritchie by telling her “We will see you 4 sure”.

Ritchie alerted Twitter of the tweet made from Sayoc’s account, which contained several disturbing images and statements.”Hug your loved ones real close every time you leave you (sic) home,” Sayoc tweeted with Ritchie’s picture and a screenshot of a news story of a dead teenager, Business Insider reported on Saturday.

Ritchie reported the incident to Twitter but the company said it “carefully” reviewed her case and “found that there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behaviour”, according to a screenshot uploaded by Ritchie.

Twitter
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Later, on Friday, police arrested and charged Sayoc, a pro-Trump activist seen attending a Trump campaign rally in 2017. His suspected social media accounts also featured threatening messages to other Trump critics, including those whose names were on the explosive packages sent to Democratic lawmakers.

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Twitter, then, suspended Sayoc’s account by Friday afternoon.”We made a mistake when Rochelle Ritchie first alerted us to the threat made against her. The tweet clearly violated our rules and should have been removed. We are deeply sorry for that error,” the company said.

The statement came after Ritchie complained to Twitter after Sayoc’s tweets were publicised.  (IANS)

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Micro-blogging Site Twitter to Audit Developers Using Data From App

Twitter says it suspended 1,62,000 apps in the second half of 2018, showing it is willing to play hardball with developers that endanger its ecosystem

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Twitter, India, Smartphone
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Micro-blogging site Twitter has decided to audit app developers who use data from its platform, as business and research boosting tools to make sure it gets paid for the information delivered.

Starting June 19, developers that use recent tweets from or mention a user more than 100,000 times per day, will have to submit their apps to Twitter for review.

“The goal is ensuring that our platform is safe and promoting the privacy and safety of our users, and providing a level playing field commercially,” TechCrunch quoted Yoel Roth, Head of site integrity, Twitter as saying on Tuesday.

Developers found to be violating Twitter’s policies would be booted from the platform, while those who fail to file for review will be capped at 100,000 requests per day for the user timeline and mentions application programming interfaces (APIs) of Twitter.

“We’re fundamentally different than other platforms that have APIs since almost everything that happens on our service is public,” Roth explained.

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

Developers who use Twitter data as business tools for customer services or social media monitoring, will have to pay and enter a commercial licencing agreement with the platform with an undisclosed custom price-range based on usage.

“Twitter refused to even specify the range those prices fall into, which won’t win it any extra trust,” the report said.

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If a developer in question presents legitimate consumer-use cases, like running a third-party Twitter client or doing research, it will be granted free access to the API at the same rate they have today.

Twitter says it suspended 1,62,000 apps in the second half of 2018, showing it is willing to play hardball with developers that endanger its ecosystem, the report added. (IANS)