Twitter: The Ethical Management
Twitter is one of the most popular social networks, and it is widely used by various people, including politicians and organizations, to propagate their ideas. Unfortunately, there is a lot of wrong content and behavior on Twitter, such as discrimination, racism, aggressive nationalism, or simply offensive messages which evoke hate. In addition, Twitter is full of bot accounts that are actively created and distribute information very quickly. In that way, the question of Twitter’s ethical management is actual and important.
Twitter is full of bot accounts, propaganda messages, and offensive content. According to Allyn (2020), more than 40% of the coronavirus-connected messages for the first half of 2020 were made by bot-like accounts. Both accounts were widely used during the US 2016 election for political propaganda (Howard et al., 2018). Twitter widely uses AI tools to search and delete bot profiles, along with hate-evoking tweets and messages. However, in the study of Chowdhury et al. (2020), more than two million purged users were analyzed, along with their tweets. It was found that users were usually successful in their malicious behavior. They were able to reach a broad audience before being suspended. In addition, the research of Kalmar et al. (2018) shows that many users with racist and similar chauvinist attitudes fled from Twitter to Gab, a similar and less popular service, where they are less likely to be censured. Twitter users widely rely on local regulations to escape abusive content: for example, they switch profile locations to Germany, where Nazism content is illegal and thus is not present (Feiner, 2019). New regulatory rules should be implemented to stop such wide distribution of offensive content and regulate propaganda and bot usage.
In that way, the problem of fake accounts, which probably distribute untrustworthy information, and abusive behavior, is actual and should be solved. An example is German rules that prohibit Nazism, and thus users switch profiles to Germany. The global strategy of preventing abusive and hate behavior would be more effective than only complying with local rules. Twitter bot accounts are the new medium that has a significant influence on the public due to active Twitter usage; thus, their activity should be regulated. They should not appeal to hate or distribute untrustworthy information; it is better if users can easily find such information and complain about it, after which Twitter will ban the account.
Allyn, B. (2020). Researchers: Nearly half of accounts tweeting about coronavirus are likely bots. NPR. Web.
Chowdhury, F. A., Allen, L., Yousuf, M., & Mueen, A. (2020). On Twitter purge: A retrospective analysis of suspended users. Companion Proceedings of the Web Conference 2020. Published. Web.
Feiner, L. (2019). Twitter users are escaping online hate by switching profiles to Germany, where Nazism is illegal. CNBC. Web.
Howard, P. N., Woolley, S., & Calo, R. (2018). Algorithms, bots, and political communication in the US 2016 election: The challenge of automated political communication for election law and administration. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 15(2), 81–93. Web.
Kalmar, I., Stevens, C., & Worby, N. (2018). Twitter, Gab, and racism. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Social Media and Society. Published. Web.