Social media companies have been under fire recently — mostly from the left — for their participation in the spread of “fake news” during election cycles.
So of course, whenever pressure from the left is involved, companies scramble to present solutions. Twitter recently unveiled new policies to “protect the integrity of elections.” In order to prevent fake news and spam from interfering with elections in the U.S., Twitter has changed what violates its policies. However, these new rules abound with loopholes that might contribute to the further censorship of conservatives.
In an attempt to remove all fake accounts and spam accounts, Twitter will determine these accounts based on 1) stock or stolen avatar photos, 2) Use of stolen or copied profile bios, 3) use of intentionally misleading profile information, including profile location.
So if a Twitter user wants to protect his or her privacy by posting a profile location that isn’t entirely accurate, the account could be removed as spam or fake. If a Twitter user chooses not to use a photo of themselves for an avatar, they could be marked and removed as spam. If a Twitter user has a similar bio to another Twitter user, how will the site determine which one is the fake one? Or what if both bios are fake? Or what if both bios are real?
Twitter reported that over 68 million accounts are active on its platform in the last quarter. When it comes down to it, it would be almost impossible to determine the difference between a fake account or an account that is attempting to protect the user’s privacy based on the criteria given by Twitter.
A computer algorithm, no matter how finely tuned, is not going to be able to understand the difference between omitting information for privacy and omitting it to mislead the public. So it will come down to the human element to be able to determine this. The human element in this case being Twitter employees, whom CEO Jack Dorsey has admitted, are mostly liberal.