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Twitter admits “errors” in its anti-harassment policy

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Twitter decreed on Tuesday that users (excluding public figures) could request that photos or videos in which they appear, published without their consent, be removed from the social network.

However, the company admitted on Friday that the implementation of this measure had been difficult.

We have received a significant number of malicious and coordinated reports, and unfortunately our teams have made several mistakes., Twitter said.

We have corrected these errors and are conducting an internal investigation to ensure this policy is being used as it should., added the firm to the blue bird.

This type of problem, many anti-racist activists had anticipated when the new policy was announced.

Their fears were quickly confirmed when researcher Kristofer Goldsmith tweeted a screenshot of a message the far right had circulated on Telegram: Due to Twitter’s new privacy policy, things unexpectedly turn to our advantage.

doxxing, in English) of the following accounts “,” text “:” Anyone with a Twitter account should report personal data disclosure (doxxing) posts from the following accounts “}}”>Anyone with a Twitter account should report personal data disclosure posts (doxxing, in English) of the following accounts, specified the message, accompanied by a list of dozens of identifiers.

Gwen Snyder, activist and researcher in Philadelphia, had her account blocked this week as a result of a report linked to a series of photos published in 2019 showing a local politician during a protest organized by the far-right group Proud Boys.

Rather than appealing to Twitter, she preferred to delete the photos and speak publicly about what had happened.

The fact that Twitter eliminates [mon] work of his platform is incredibly dangerous, and will promote and encourage fascists, she lamented.

To justify its new policy, Twitter pointed out that share personal content, such as pictures or videos, could violate a person’s privacy and cause emotional or physical harm.

But this rule does not apply to public figures nor to content accompanying tweets shared in the general interest or providing added value to the public debate.

Even so, Chad Loder’s account, who is an activist in California, was blocked after reports related to footage of an anti-vaccine rally and confrontation outside the home of a former journalist from Vice.

Twitter says I must delete my tweets that include photos of people at a public event worthy of media coverage that has actually been followed by the media, or I will never get my account backChad Loder said, adding that this was the third report on his account in 48 hours.

The massive reporting by the far right is the latest round of an ongoing and concerted effort to erase the evidence of their crimes and wrongdoing.

Twitter’s new policy was announced the day after Parag Agrawal took over as head of Twitter to replace co-founder Jack Dorsey. For specialists, if it is based on good intentions, it is extremely difficult to implement.

In part because the platform has become essential in identifying people linked to the extreme right, internet users improvising themselves detectives and publishing their names or information allowing them to be identified.

These disclosures of personal data cost some of those targeted their jobs, sometimes exposing them to legal action, while activists who published the data were also threatened or harassed.

After the assault on Capitol Hill on January 6, in which thousands of Donald Trump supporters tried to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory, those involved were the subject of intense research into Internet.

Even the FBI regularly publishes images of unidentified people wanted for their connection to the violence.

According to Michael Breen, president of the Human Rights First group, Twitter has given extremists a new weapon to harm those most in need of protection and who bring the danger to light.

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