Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.227.186.112

Forum Moderators: not2easy & rumbas

Message Too Old, No Replies

Twitter Bans UK political group

Is twitter getting above itself.

     
10:23 pm on Dec 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 19, 2002
posts:3426
votes: 60


Twitter today deleted the personal accounts of the leaders of a British Political Group, it also deleted the official twitter account of the group itself.

[bbc.co.uk...]

Obviously we don't discuss politics here, although i think it fair to say that many folk will find the views of this group unsavoury.

The point I'd like to make though is that, this group are completely legal in the UK
(there are 85 organisations which are banned in the UK).
[gov.uk...]

So ... should twitter be taking it upon themselves to censor political opinion? (or any opinion actually) ... especially when those opinions are not illegal?

The classic questions arise ... censorship is a very slippery slope indeed.

[btw. i absolutely think that banned political groups and illegal hate should be blocked/banned]


[edited by: not2easy at 1:17 pm (utc) on Dec 19, 2017]
[edit reason] charter compliance [/edit]

8:42 am on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:8770
votes: 704


Sadly, the very subject is political. Expect more of same until the hurt spreads further than intended (already happening). It is human nature to go overboard, and those in control/power generally always do evil.
9:21 am on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

Administrator from GB 

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 9, 2000
posts:25721
votes: 820


Yes, this specific topic is political, so it's not one for webmasterworld.

For the sake of completeness, here a link to Twitter's rules and policies.
[help.twitter.com...]
10:25 am on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts:2830
votes: 143


It is political, but it is also relevant to us (because its about social media and the web). You could also say discussion about things like net neutrality is also political. So is a lot more we discuss (copyright and patents, anything else related to legislation and regulation).

There are two relevant issues here:

1. Where bans by social media effectively prevent people from expressing their views: it is not the same legally as government censorship, but ends up having the same effect.

2. The problem of vague terms of service that effectively allow social media providers to suspend accounts on a whim. There is no consistency anywhere.


[edited by: not2easy at 1:21 pm (utc) on Dec 19, 2017]
[edit reason] charter compliance [/edit]

11:32 am on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum from DK 

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 23, 2000
posts: 2568
votes: 12


>Yes, this specific topic is political, so it's not one for webmasterworld.

I agree and this thread will be watched closely. Any discussion of politics or political views will get removed. So will the thread if it turns sour. Just a heads up here folks.
1:00 pm on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 16, 2003
posts:1954
votes: 9


Social media networks are essentially elaborate discussion forums. Makes sense that they need to curate what their member's are saying as it reflects poorly on the entity as a whole.

Most (good) forums have policies relating to what can and can't be posted - Twitter has just been slack on that front considering the size, scope and influence of their reach. That's caused issues for large swathes of their user base, which they now need to do something about.

Fair move I'd say.

I'd guess that WebmasterWorld wouldn't start arbitrarily banning members because of their political views elsewhere, but if those individuals started causing problems for others here, then action (of some sort) would likely be taken. Perhaps less necessary or likely due to pre-emptive policies to avoid such problems occurring. Twitter doesn't really have that policy structure. In fact, I'd argue that they've positioned themselves as a tool rather than a forum or community, so the "open to all" / unrestricted comment type policy has inevitably delivered negative consequences.

The political account bans I think only really address a small part of the problem they have. Imagine a forum with as many bots and fake accounts running rampant as Twitter does. That's like WebmasterWorld opening the doors to every link spam bot that was foolish enough to head in this direction.

I read a Twitter exchange the other day. A national newspaper journo was citing (what was clearly a left-leaning troll account) as being some horrible, nasty, abusive thing. She was being encouraged / supported by a number of other accounts (who were all clearly right-leaning troll accounts). News is literally being generated by a tug of war between political bot / troll accounts, with an uninformed human stuck in the middle.

That's the kind of interaction that any forum mod or admin would have nipped in the bud long before it became an issue. I think part of the issue is the scale of what social networks are trying to do and not dissimilar to the discussion in this thread about search alternatives: [webmasterworld.com...] - content has exploded, they can't curate it effectively and as a result it's devaluing their core product offering.
1:09 pm on Dec 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator not2easy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 27, 2006
posts:4084
votes: 257


As the Charter states:
Please, no Account specific posts
so while we're fine with a discussion of Twitter's rules and policies, we can't have discussions of specific accounts. Specifics mentioned will be snipped, we don't discuss actual accounts here and it has been moving in that direction.
8:55 am on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts:2830
votes: 143


Sorry about the specifics - to summarise what I said without specific, the examples that were snipped illustrate very similar groups (some a lot bigger/better known) have official twitter accounts, while other do not, and in some cases twitter clearly knows about them because they have taken limited manual action such as removing verified markings.

I have since read of account bands for retweeting material that higher profile accounts got away with retweeting.

This is where we run into problems with rules not allowing us to mention specifics: the examples are jaw dropping inconsistent (to anyone British anyway), and that does not really come across when you summarise without examples.
9:41 am on Dec 21, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts:2830
votes: 143


Imagine a forum with as many bots and fake accounts running rampant as Twitter does.


The difference is that on Twitter you specifically choose who to follow so its not as bad

I agree about the problem with trolls and responses to trolls: few people can resist responding to trolls.

I also find the quality of discussions on social media deteriorates very quickly, and, again, that is due to the lack of focus on a topic (one of the strengths of forums) and lack of moderation.