Twitter admits policy ‘errors’ after far-right abuse

AFP
December 05, 2021

WASHINGTON: Twitter’s new picture permission policy was aimed at combating online abuse, but US activists and researchers said late on Friday that far-right backers have employed it to protect...

Share Next Story >>>

WASHINGTON: Twitter’s new picture permission policy was aimed at combating online abuse, but US activists and researchers said late on Friday that far-right backers have employed it to protect themselves from scrutiny and to harass opponents.

Even the social network admitted the roll out of the rules, which say anyone can ask Twitter to take down images of themselves posted without their consent, was marred by malicious reports and its teams’ own errors.

It was just the kind of trouble anti-racism advocates worried was coming after the policy was announced this week.

Their concerns were quickly validated, with anti-extremism researcher Kristofer Goldsmith tweeting a screenshot of a far-right call-to-action circulating on Telegram: “Due to the new privacy policy at Twitter, things now unexpectedly work more in our favour.”

“Anyone with a Twitter account should be reporting doxxing posts from the following accounts,” the message said, with a list of dozens of Twitter handles.

Gwen Snyder, an organiser and researcher in Philadelphia, said her account was blocked this week after a report to Twitter about a series of 2019 photos she said showed a local political candidate at a march organized by extreme-right group Proud Boys.

Rather than go through an appeal with Twitter she opted to delete the images and alert others to what was happening.

“Twitter moving to eliminate (my) work from their platform is incredibly dangerous and is going to enable and embolden fascists,” she told AFP.

In announcing the privacy policy on Tuesday, Twitter noted that “sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm.”



More From World