Silencing The Trolls: Twitter Considers ‘Hate Speech’ Censorship

Here at disinformation we mostly live with our trolls as a part of online life, but Twitter has decided to try to silence them. Via RT:

Is Twitter allowing too much freedom? What helped move revolutions along in the Middle East, has a flip side of cyberbullying and abuse, especially of those in the spotlight. Now Twitter is taking its first step towards censorship.

The news was broken by Twitter’s Dick Costolo who was speaking to the Financial Times. As the FT put it, the site’s chief executive “became visibly emotional” as he described his frustration in tackling the problem of ‘horrifying’ abuse, while maintaining the company’s mantra that ‘tweets must flow’. Anonymous and unpunished, irresponsible twitter-users find the site ideal for expressing all kinds of extremist, racist and sexistopinions. Celebrities are among those most vulnerable, with curses and bullying clogging up their ‘@connect’ section, offending many and disrupting conversations, often turning them into hate-fights.

To stop the ‘hate speech’ anarchy, Twitter is considering starting off by blocking the very possibility of replies from so-called ‘non-authoritative’ users, marked out by the absence of a profile picture, followers or bio information, as reports. This is the first step, but there might be more to come…

[continues at RT]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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6 Comments on "Silencing The Trolls: Twitter Considers ‘Hate Speech’ Censorship"

  1. Liam_McGonagle | Jun 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm |

    “Here at disinformation we mostly live with our trolls as a part of online life. . .”

    Fairly true.  If I were a more cynical man, I’d suspect it was all part of a grand marketing scheme to capture the underserviced troll markets.

    • It would be, but I’ve been trolling here for years and I think I’ve spent about $15 total.

      For what its worth, Disinfo products tend to be utter shit, and thats honesty, not trolling.

      • Liam_McGonagle | Jun 30, 2012 at 11:56 am |

        Well, to each their own.

        I’d seen Disinfo stuff for years before I’d ever thought twice about any of it.  Then I had a kind of season of rolling epiphanies and came to think I’d been looking at it all the wrong way.

        I think Disinfo is about giving new or quirky ideas a foothold.  Yeah, some of those ideas are pretty dreadful, but even more dreadful would be a world incapable of generating any new ideas.

        Sometimes I imagine what a day in the life of the Disinfo Co. must be like, and nowadays I keep imagining an incredibly tiny basement-style operation of like 50 employees–tops.  No, they’re never going to be able to compete in terms of signing the next Oprah Book Club guru, but very likely they don’t want to. 

        On the other hand, they manage to produce the odd gem every now and then, and avoid setting themselves on the fast track to the true mediocrity of media celebrity chasing.  I think that’s a kind of achievement. 

  2. Bruteloop | Jun 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm |

    Honestly, who really cares. Trolls are trolls. The more there are the weaker the impact. And it always feels good not to have dirty hands.

  3. Ceausescu | Jun 30, 2012 at 1:55 am |

    Twitter’s Dick ?


  4. I thank you for your consideration Disinfo, and I must insist that I am the lesser of the evils. I protect this site from morons.

    Trolls gonna troll.

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