The Daily Beast: Inside Twitter’s Bot Purge

In a crackdown on mass automatic posts, Twitter has deleted thousands of accounts. “The pulldown took place quite literally in the middle of the night, without warning or explanation from the company,” explains Taylor Lorenz for the Daily Beast. “Leading right-wing trolls and conspiracy theorists, many of whom woke up this morning to discover that their follower numbers had plunged by the thousands, kicked off and outrage cycle, accusing Twitter of censorship, violating their free speech, and unfairly punishing conservatives.” Some users were asked to verify identity; others could not run ads. In a post, Twitter explained the changes are designed to restrict use of bots “artificially amplify or inflate the prominence of certain Tweets.” Free-speech advocates resist restrictions and favor transparency and explanations for changes; engineers suggest Twitter’s guidelines could give hackers a blueprint for creating more devious tools. Social media companies concede that Russians used their platforms to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and an investigation is underway. The goal for many hackers is to sow chaos, and they could abruptly shift in favoring any candidate or ideology. Lorenz concludes, “as long as Twitter continues to be so opaque about the way it policies its own platform, its relative silence will fuel the frenzy.” – YaleGlobal

The Daily Beast: Inside Twitter’s Bot Purge

Twitter abruptly deletes thousands of bot accounts that artificially amplify messages crafted for outrage, raising concerns about free speech and transparency
Taylor Lorenz
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Read the article about Twitter’s bot purge from The Daily Beast.

Taylor Lorenz is a technology reporter at The Daily Beast. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, the New York Observer, People, Entertainment Weekly, and others.

© 2018 The Daily Beast Company LLC

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