Twitter’s New Tool to Crack Down on Politically Incorrect Language

Twitter’s New Tool to Crack Down on Politically Incorrect Language

By William Hicks | 2:57 pm, February 15, 2017
 
Twitter has launched a new way to punish users for bad behavior, temporarily “limiting” their account.

Some users are receiving notices their accounts are limited for 12 hours, meaning only people who follow them can see their tweets or receive notifications. When they are retweeted, people outside their network can’t see those retweets.

Some speculate these limitations are automatic based on keywords, but there is no hard evidence.

This would be fine if this was used uniformly to clamp down on harassment, but it appears to be used on people, simply for using politically incorrect language.

Take for example the Twitter user @Drybones5 who got his account limited after using the word “retarded.”

He claims he got his account limited directly after saying retarded twice. The first time he called a Nintendo policy adding paid extra content to their new Zelda game retarded.

The next time he called someone a retard who called him a retard first.

Another user @faggotfriday (kind of surprising he hasn’t gotten banned yet) got his account limited after using fag in the British sense, meaning cigarette.

Another user claims his account was limited after calling Senator John McCain a traitor.

It’s not surprising or unreasonable, the limiting feature would be applied to the n-word, but it can go into effect even when the word is used in a context which was not targeting anyone.

In this case the n-word was used in reference to a statement Chris Cuomo made. It seems that using the n-word in reference to a quote could cause an account to get limited.

Twitter appears to be using this feature to police problematic language that is not necessarily targeted harassment. So much for being the “free speech wing of the free speech party.”


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