"Did We Create This Monster?" How Twitter Turned Toxic


        Imposter Buster soon came under attack itself-by racists who
        reported it to Twitter for harassment.  Unexpectedly, the
        company sided with the trolls: It suspended the bot for spammy
        behavior the following April. With assistance from the
        Anti-Defamation League, Rosenberg and Chandra got that
        decision reversed three days later. But their targets
        continued to file harassment reports, and last December
        Twitter once again blacklisted Imposter Buster, this time for
        good.  Rosenberg, who considers his effort good citizenship
        rather than vigilantism, still isn't sure why Twitter found it
        unacceptable; he never received an explanation directly from
        the company. But the ruling gave racists a win by technical
        knockout.  For all the ways in which the Imposter Buster saga
        is unique, it's also symptomatic of larger issues that have
        long bedeviled Twitter:  abuse, the weaponizing of anonymity,
        bot wars, and slow-motion decision making by the people
        running a real-time platform.  These problems have only
        intensified since Donald Trump became president and chose
        Twitter as his primary mouthpiece. The platform is now the
        world's principal venue for politics and outrage, culture and
        conversation-the home for both #MAGA and #MeToo.

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Lauren Weinstein (lau...@vortex.com): https://www.vortex.com/lauren 
Lauren's Blog: https://lauren.vortex.com
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Founder: Network Neutrality Squad: https://www.nnsquad.org 
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Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: https://www.pfir.org/pfir-info
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
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