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Twitter Communications News

Twitter Launches Trust and Safety Council To Help Put End To Trolling (thestack.com) 204

An anonymous reader writes: Twitter has announced a new trust and safety council to stamp out bullying and trolling on the microblogging site. The Twitter Trust & Safety Council will initially be formed of around 40 bodies, including the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, ICT Watch, NetSafe, and Samaritans. These organisations, along with safety experts, academics and security researchers, will work to ensure a safe and secure platform for users to express themselves freely and safely. The Council's main focus will be to protect minors, encourage 'greater compassion and empathy on the internet,' and promote efforts in media literacy and digital citizenship. Community groups will also participate to help prevent online 'abuse, harassment, and bullying,' as well as mental health problems and suicide.
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Twitter Launches Trust and Safety Council To Help Put End To Trolling

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  • This is a bad idea. (Score:5, Informative)

    by B33rNinj4 ( 666756 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:15PM (#51473245) Homepage Journal
    While I dislike trolling, when you attempt to put controls onto a system, you end up destroying that system.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Mostly this, the people they have hired have made a career of washing all commentary on their work as trolls.

      • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:21PM (#51473327) Journal

        Who gets to define "Trolling" and "Bullying". My guess, suddenly all sorts of speech will be suddenly labels "Micro-aggression" and be banned.

        "I'm voting for _________" -- not politically correct candidate = BANHAMMER!!!

        • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:30PM (#51473423)

          Well, obviously if you're voting for _________ then you must be a racist and sexist. So anything you say is hate speech.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Who gets to define "Trolling" and "Bullying". My guess, suddenly all sorts of speech will be suddenly labels "Micro-aggression" and be banned.

          "I'm voting for _________" -- not politically correct candidate = BANHAMMER!!!

          This is nothing terribly new, Twitter is just being a little more open about the fact that the truth is not welcome on their system.

          There are all sorts things I can say, that are factual statements and can be proven to be true, that will get me banned from a lot of places on the Internet.

        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          Yes the look and feel will be like any web 2.0 site under some theocracy, despotic monarchy, military dictatorship, fascist or communist government.
          Most nations have their own safe sites in their own languages that have a role for locals. Why join another big site to be tracked, reported on and corrected?
          Group think sets in and a very chilling system after posting with ip's tracked, user banned and facing chat downs.

          Good news for any new or older social media site in the USA that can promote and prote
        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Grep! Gabber gobbler!! Your micro-agressive post was triggering for me you fat, racist, misogyonerd, neckbeard, rapist, loser, white, cis male! You hate women and are on the wrong side of history you entitled shitlord!! Your rights to an internet end where my feelings begin, so expect you internet privileges to be taken away you MRA rape culture promoter!

          Twitter isn't going far enough. And Slashdot needs to ban your kind. Please donate to my Patreon to make this possible. Do it or I'll call my media contact

        • by Cloud K ( 125581 )

          The impression I got was that they actually want to encourage free speech and make people feel safe expressing their views - I don't imagine it's actually an anti Trump voter thing. What they're trying to stop is all the bullying and death threats, and there's plenty of that happening on both sides of the political fence, so it should actually *help* the Trump voters express themselves.

          The internet's been especially bad for this ever since all that "gamergate" shit where suddenly if you express any hint of

          • I agree. As a recent example, a woman I know on Twitter was harassed by a group of people. Her "crime"? She adopted two white kids and two black kids and this group of white supremacists couldn't let that stand. I looked through some of their tweets and felt like I needed to bleach my eyes/brain. (The tame tweets called her black children "things" and "pets." I won't repeat what the non-tame ones said.) Many of the people said they went to her website, downloaded all photos of her kids, and planned t

        • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

          once again the king of strawmen has misrepresented the issue.

    • by XXongo ( 3986865 )
      Why don't they just do what /. does, and implement mod points?

      Wait, maybe some of the mods might be biased... I know, how about also implementing meta-moderation?

    • when you attempt to put controls onto a system, you end up destroying that system.

      Really?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Face it Twitter is the kindergarten play ground of public forums. They basically want to control it by gagging the children and chaining them to a stake in the ground so they can't pester each other. Any idiot can scream anything, at one point you just have to give up and walk away from Twitter, from the start most said it would simply fail for this exact reason and Twitter are desperate to keep it going because of the quite silly pretend worth of Twitter and the total bullshit level of advertising and PR=B

    • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:45PM (#51473595) Journal
      It's not just a bad idea, it's not an enforceable system. What's the difference between trolling and arguing, or trolling and someone whose honest opinion just happens to deviate beyond a certain distance from what's considered the norm? It's like trying to set down rules as to what is and is not 'art'; it can't be done.
    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:50PM (#51473651)

      The name is a hoot and a half: "Trust and Safety Council". This sounds like something I would expect to see in a dictatorship, like North Korea, the former East Germany, Soviet Russia or a fistful of Middle East Sheikdoms.

      Let's just call it what it really is: "Board of Censorship".

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It makes sense when you realize that they don't want users to trust them and feel safe, what they're trying to do is convince advertisers that they can trust Twitter and that it's a safe platform to advertise on. There are so many stories of Twitter advertising campaigns coming back to bite the advertisers as hashtags get co-opted by users, that Twitter needs to convince advertisers that they can block that from happening in the name of "preventing trolls."

        They're also hoping to score some leftist points wi

      • Minitrue

        “War is peace.
        Freedom is slavery.
        Ignorance is strength.”
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        If someone is breaking the law then providing tools to help gather evidence and support their prosecution is not usually considered censorship. Serious trolling is often illegal.

        More over, Twitter is a private platform. They can set whatever standards they want, and don't owe anyone a platform. Like all private forums, they have to balance the ability to say anything against the desire to provide a platform to the greatest number of people and avoid creating an echo chamber with everyone screaming at each o

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by T.E.D. ( 34228 )
      Exactly. Slashdot put moderation in about 15 years ago, and look how destroyed it is now.
    • Ok then, what do you suggest doing instead? Let's start by accepting the goals of protecting minors and encouraging compassion and empathy. (Maybe you don't agree with those goals, but that's irrelevant. Twitter has set them as goals, and it's their platform. Besides, most people outside the Slashdot bubble would agree with them.) So what do you recommend they should do to promote them?

  • by martinux ( 1742570 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:16PM (#51473263)

    Twitter Launches Church Of We Don't Like Your Opinion So We're Going To Brand You A Troll Council to Help Put End To Hurt Feelings

    • This is something that Slashdot already does. They'll clearly be infringing on some sort of patentrightmark or something...

    • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:33PM (#51473463)

      Criticize Islam: Banhammer for hate speech
      Criticize Christianity: [crickets]

      Criticize women's rights movement: Banhammer for misogyny
      Criticize men's rights movement: [crickets]

      • by Coren22 ( 1625475 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:59PM (#51473747) Journal

        will work to ensure a safe and secure platform for users to express themselves freely and safely.

        Unless you have an opinion that differs from someone else's. Or if we think you are a troll, because restricting free speech is the quickest way to allowing people to express themselves freely.

      • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )
        Wow. Its pretty darn clear you haven't actually tried either of those. Unless by crickets you mean Locusts [wikipedia.org].
      • It's different when you're in a position of power relative to another group, and have been for centuries or longer.

      • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

        oh look, ignorance modded insightful by ignorant mods.

        its like when people say "but what about white history month" ... completely oblivious to the fact that the entire point is that white history month is better known as "the other 11 months of the year".

        ie, more of the same "im against political correctness because I want to be a bigoted prick"

        • Last time I checked, black history was still included in history curricula for the full 12 months of the year. Though I would just love to see a teacher try to function under your ignorant premise and announce that she won't be covering the Civil Rights movement or slavery because "Every other month but February is for white history." I'm sure that wouldn't cause a fucking uproar.

      • Criticize Islam: Banhammer for hate speech

        That's only because Islam has so many fanboys on here :D

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Your opinions make me feel unsafe. Shouldn't Slashdot be a safe place for everyone? We must get authorities involved. This is a safety concern, after all.

      • I'll hand myself in as one of those disgusting monsters who tries to form an evidence-based opinion.

        I'm trying my best to paint anyone who criticises an opinion given by a back person as a racist, a woman as misogynist or a trans person as... anti-trans?
        I... I just need to learn to start treating people I don't know as victims who can't survive without my help, especially those who don't want it.

        • by Kohath ( 38547 )

          I... I just need to learn to start treating people I don't know as victims who can't survive without my help, especially those who don't want it.

          Or just shut up and applaud on cue.

  • by casings ( 257363 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:17PM (#51473269)

    These organisations, along with safety experts, academics and security researchers, will work to ensure a safe and secure platform for users to express themselves freely and safely.

    So you are free express yourself, as long as you express yourself in a way approved by these organizations?

    What fucking hypocritical bullshit.

    • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:35PM (#51473483)

      Freedom of speech, just watch what you say.

    • This hypocritical attitude is getting to be a problem all over the place. It's not just Twitter.

      For example, just look at the Rust programming language project. They have a very bureaucratic and tyrannical code of conduct [rust-lang.org]. Beyond that, they even have a moderation team [rust-lang.org] that will go after anyone deemed to have "violated" the code of conduct!

      What I think we're seeing in cases like this are autists of one degree or another trying to "script" social interaction.

      What I mean by that is that they're people who are

      • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @06:24PM (#51473969)

        For example, just look at the Rust programming language project. They have a very bureaucratic and tyrannical code of conduct.

        Ok, let's look at, specifically, what they define as harrassment:

        4. Unacceptable Behavior

        The following behaviors are considered harassment and are unacceptable within our community:

        Violence, threats of violence or violent language directed against another person.
        Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language.
        Posting or displaying sexually explicit or violent material.
        Posting or threatening to post other peopleâ(TM)s personally identifying information ("doxing").
        Personal insults, particularly those related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or disability.
        Inappropriate photography or recording.
        Inappropriate physical contact. You should have someoneâ(TM)s consent before touching them.
        Unwelcome sexual attention. This includes, sexualized comments or jokes; inappropriate touching, groping, and unwelcomed sexual advances.
        Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (online or in person).
        Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
        Sustained disruption of community events, including talks and presentations.

        You have a problem with these? Then stay out. None of these rules are unreasonable. Indeed, since you find them so unreasonable that you have to whine here about it, you sound like the kind of person that any group, that wants to get anything done, should keep out, lest they be trolled into wasting time on your moronic nonsense.

        I seriously wonder what you would have done, 25 years ago, when "unprofessional behavior" would have gotten you booted off the entire Internet.

        --
        BMO

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Please define "violent language", "discriminatory jokes and language" and "personal insults, particularly those related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or disability." Also, please explain how "unwelcome sexual attention" differs from welcome sexual attention and how to avoid giving the unwelcome kind. Perhaps an instructive video [youtube.com] can help.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You have a problem with these?

          I have a problem with this...

          Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language.

          Even a non-gender neutral pronoun is considered "sexist language" by some. Context is everything. When we allow freedom of expression to be curtailed by the over-sensitive, we encourage the victims of bullying to become bullies.

          -- sent from my GAYPhone

          • by raynet ( 51803 )

            Also sometimes a personal insult is in order, especially when said person is acting like a dolt.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      These organisations, along with safety experts, academics and security researchers, will work to ensure a safe and secure platform for users to express themselves freely and safely.

      So you are free express yourself, as long as you express yourself in a way approved by these organizations?

      What fucking hypocritical bullshit.

      You are also free to take your expression to another platform that better suits your sensibilities. Or start your own.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Why do you care so much what Twitter, a private company that you no doubt avoid because of tracking and all social media being a stupid scam where you are the product, does?

      8chan still exists, now 4chan has sold out to the SJWs and banned GamerGate. Oh, but even 8chan has rules. You can still run your own server. There is even TOR if you need it.

      Why do you feel Twitter in particular owes you a platform?

  • So Twitter's solution to their unfettered harassment problem is a 40 person committee?

    Basically, this is a nice way of saying they won't be doing anything, but perhaps paying protection money into some industry groups so that they won't complain any more.

    They can completely change the concept of a feed, and throw out the character limit that has been the defining feature of the service since its inception. But actual tools to allow users to manage asshats on the service (like even /. has had for nearly

  • Safe & Secure (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:22PM (#51473345)

    safe and secure platform for users to express themselves freely and safely

    As long as your free expression doesn't piss off any of the 40 busybody groups, of course.

  • f + s = k (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pseudonymous Powers ( 4097097 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:24PM (#51473359)

    God, I'm so stupid. Here I've been hanging out on the internet for decades now, and I never once realized in all that time that all we had to do to make everyone nice to each other all the time was to institute draconian levels of censorship based on arbitrary rules decided upon by the most hypersensitive and litigious subgroups in the community.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      #RIPTwitter #SJWCancerRules #SafeSpaces
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The only way to get rid of trolling is to teach people not to give a flying fuck what other people think about them.

    Only then will it just not matter what other people say, and they will either stop saying stuff, or just be ignored.

  • encourage 'greater compassion and empathy on the internet'

    Why am I envisioning King Canute commanding the tide?

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @05:29PM (#51473409)

    Translation: Complete freedom to agree with the left just as much as you like.

    • Translation: Complete freedom to agree with the left just as much as you like.

      Yeah there's definitely a bias. Unfortunately that means for a lot of users will not be using twitter much which seems to be the plan. It's all puppies and rainbows on Twitter

        #FuckThat

    • Leftist = rightist = centrist = totalitarian. That old terminology is obsolete.

      In this case, you could probably substitute "establishment" or "nomenklatura" in place of "left".

  • Need to stop patent / trademark trolling as well

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Obligatory [youtube.com]

  • Are trolls and spamsters a problem on Twitter?

    Sure.

    Are moronic 12 yo boys and the adult males that act like that and harass women on Twitter a problem?

    Sure.

    Will this work?

    Nope.

    Only public shaming works.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Damn shame our justice system stopped using pillories, isn't it?

    • by Coren22 ( 1625475 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @06:13PM (#51473853) Journal

      Why all the sexism? Are you saying that women can't possibly be the trolls? Or is it agism, that trolling people is somehow a 12 year old thing? Perhaps you should expand your horizons and realize that ANYONE can troll, including the ones making up these rules!

      • Um, logic fail. If I state A means B, and you say C means B, that does not mean both are not true.

        it's not my job to describe C means B. I leave that up to GG.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Both Twitter and Wired seem to want to self destruct.

    More power to them!

  • ensure that only approved trolling and bullying can be done on their web site.

    If Twitter mattered, it might be disturbing. But since, if you have something you can say in 140 characters, you have nothing to say, who cares?

  • I am continually amazed at just how bad the tech industry is at basic concepts of governance.

    Hey we created this platform where everyone who wants to shout can be heard by everyone .. now what type of behaviors would one guess this would tend to reinforce? Try not to think too hard about it.

    You can't police fundamentally deleterious structures away.. sure you can try.. you can always attempt to beat people into compliance but eventually the unsurprising outcome is a failed police state.

    If you really want t

  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @06:24PM (#51473965) Homepage Journal

    Twitter Launches Trust and Safety Council To Help Put End To Trolling

    They already failed. What's next, the Orwellian Council of Freethinkers?

    • /asrcasm "Sorry, your speech has been flagged for being subversive and causing dissent. For blasphemy of original thought, Citizen, you are charged with the Crime of Heresy; you have been re-assigned for Re-Indoctrination of Censorship and Sensitivity Training until you learn to express yourself in only official approved conduct that "We, the powers that be, Deem Fit." Have a nice day."

      Translation: We're a bunch of wussies intolerant of other people expressing their opinion and instead want to dictate to o

  • by rlh100 ( 695725 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @06:43PM (#51474129) Homepage

    Internet trolls have not been able to control their urges to hurt random innocent people. Make no mistake about it. The rape and death threats, the bulling, really do hurt people.

    Twitter has finally gotten enough feed back from their customer base that trolling, bulling and other forms of online harassment are unacceptable. I am please that they are trying to do something about it. They will probably make some missteps. But they will make twitter better for most people and immensely better for a few people who are the target of the attacks.

    If you don't like twitter trying to mildly enforce some simple rules of social decency and common courtesy, then go find some other free service and spew your vitriol there. That way the larger community can ignore you.

    I have no sympathy because my adult daughter received her first rape threat when she was 11 when she posted a comment to a gamer forum. Just call me a California liberal but social decency and common courtesy make the world a better palace to live despite what Trump spews.

    RLH

    • How about you ask your daughter whether she'd rather be free to express herself, or have the certainty that if she receives an inappropriate twit, that the throw-away account used to make it will be banned (and might get her own main account banned if she writes a twit that offends someone).

      • by rlh100 ( 695725 )

        No need to ask. I know that she, like 99.9% of all women would gladly put some limits on how she expresses herself if that meant reducing the vitriol and hate she gets on a frequent basis.

        You are obviously a guy. Guys do not understand how women look at personal safety. A woman's personal safety is something she is aware of ALL the time. I call this a woman's safety tape. Sometimes it is in the distant background like when she is at home protected by locked doors. But during the day when she is out in

        • Seriously? Women are always afraid? Of what exactly?

          You do realize that men are - by a factor of 4 or 5 - more likely to be murdered than women, right?

          Are you really in fear 24/7? You should probably see a psychologist.

  • Anita's there... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @07:01PM (#51474333)
    For those who think a lot of the comments are paranoid conspiracy theory, lets take a look at who's on this council:
    https://about.twitter.com/safe... [twitter.com]

    Doing a quick scan, I recognized Anita Sarkeesian (search for "feminist frequency").

    That's definitely a neutral unbiased third party who hasn't made controversial videos and never claimed that disagreement with her opinions were trolling and abuse.
  • Who fucking cares? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @07:36PM (#51474617) Homepage

    Twitter is a free service. Don't use it if you don't like their policies.

  • Some people are too sensitive, so they want to stop other people from saying things that offend them. But instead of dealing with it themselves, they appeal to some authority to fight the “problem” on their behalf. Because not only are they super-sensitive, but they’re also LAZY.

    At a university, we certainly cannot condone physical violence. And patterns of sustained harrassment are also not acceptable. However, college is a place where people need to be CHALLENGED, socially, intellect

  • I'm pretty sure this is about the seventh time in as many months that Twitter has announced they're making Big Changes in the way deal with trolling, with the help of a giant list of Concerned Parties that always includes Feminist Frequency.

    I am also pretty sure that such announcements will be a regular occurrence for as long as they appear to have some effect on investor confidence.

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