Twitter privacy woes renewed by Project Veritas undercover videos

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twitter privacy woes project veritas undercover videos

Image by Zeyi Fan

After several weeks, Twitter finally finished updating its rules and community guidelines to prevent abuse on its platform. Now, it faces another challenge in the form of undercover videos by Project Veritas.

On January 15, Twitter shared to TechCrunch a statement about the latest video that claims Twitter engineers access or monitor private direct messages. It blatantly called Project Veritas as “deceptive.”

The talked-about video seems to be an undercover project with Veritas’ members recording unknowing Twitter engineers in a bar.

The video shows the Twitter employees talk about a machine-based learning system that scans Tweets and DMs. It also shows that some staff members of the social network access or check messages flagged by its system.

The Rebuttal

This is the third time Project Veritas directed criticism on Twitter. The latter says the videos are misleading, “deceptive,” and “edited to fit a pre-determined narrative.”

In a statement on the DM video, Twitter says its employees are not proactively reviewing DMs. It adds that only a select few have access to these messages for “legitimate work purposes.”

The company says the employees were not authorized to speak on behalf of Twitter in the video. Its Privacy Policy does say that it will store and process DMs and information related to them.

Previous videos from Project Veritas hit on the shadow-banning on Twitter’s platform. Another undercover video from the group shows a Twitter engineer saying that he will gladly hand over POTUS Trump’s data for investigation.

Twitter refuted all the said videos.

The Source

Some critics use these videos in their advocacies against Twitter. But others study the source first before throwing stones at the platform.

Project Veritas is an organization headed by the conservative James O’Keefe. In November last year, this same person tried to publish a dramatic fake news against a political candidate on the Washington Post.

Takeaways

With Twitter setting new rules to ban more tweets and users on its platform, some groups think it creates more bias and is a less open platform after the updates.

Other organizations think Project Veritas’s videos against Twitter are deceptive. Wired shares this is a backlash from the new rules to curb abuse and hate speech. It suggests that some groups did not take the account removals so kindly.

Twitter has recently been the recipient of several lawsuits. One recent complaint is from a user who lost account access three years ago after posting a threat to “take out” an activist.

Twitter and several social networks have been bolstering community guidelines to prevent the spread of fake news, hate speech and extremist content.


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Author: Francis Rey

Franz believes voracious readers are good writers. So, he reads or writes anything that piques his interest, especially social media. When AFK, he spends his downtime on road trips and binges.

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