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Twitter Algorithm vs human touch in handling trolls, bullies, abusers online

The human factor will always be called into question at the end of the day.

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that the company needs to be more transparent about its actions to build trust. play

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that the company needs to be more transparent about its actions to build trust.

(Getty Images)

The case of an algorithm which is a set of instructions given to a computer to take specific actions based on certain conditions is proving to be insufficient in achieving its goals.

This has been the case with Twitter Inc. who has come under fire for the way it’s been suspending accounts on ground of violating Twitter laid down rules.

In some cases it gets the content right but the context wrong.

A simple example was seen with the Japanese guy whose Twitter handle got suspended because he used threat words against a mosquito.

ALSO READ: Many women are boycotting Twitter on Friday over its approach to abuse

It’s also been a case of bias, double standards and a question of leadership for the social networking site, looking at the case of Trump with his loose and inciting tweets which somehow doesn’t get flagged by Twitter’s algorithm and lead to suspension of the controversial president of the United States.

Harvey Weinstein 'brought the guns' out of Rose McGowan. play

Harvey Weinstein 'brought the guns' out of Rose McGowan.



The case of Rose McGowan is also sparking up this conversation. The Hollywood actress who has been very vocal on Twitter in support of victims who recently came out of the silence to speak against Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment over them got her Twitter account suspended for 12 hours.

Twitter via its ‘’Twitter Safety account” who have it as a policy not to comment on why individual accounts are suspended for ‘’security and privacy” reasons broke that rule and have given reason why McGowan’s account got suspended.




McGowan whose account has been re-instated replied tweeting that Donald Trump’s account may have as well been suspended for inciting violence.

This goes to show the flaw of algorithms and equally the insincerity, hypocrisy and poor leadership that is being exemplified by Twitter.

The company does say however in a series of ‘’greater than 140 character tweets’’ that it will be ‘’clearer about these policies and decisions in the future.”

It also goes on to claim it’s “proud to empower and support the voices on its platform especially those that speak truth to power.”

CEO Jack Dorsey has also via his personal account tweeted that the company needs to be more transparent about its actions to build trust.


The current situation which is otherwise the opposite of Twitter’s dispositions may be contributing to Twitter’s growth woes looking at it from a holistic point of view.


Rose tweeted in response to all of Twitter’s defensive tweets saying:


Rose is leading a Twitter boycott today Friday October 13, trying to raise awareness against sexual offence cases.


She has even called out Jeff Bezos to stop funding rapists, paedophiles and sexual harassers in a thread.



Algorithms are never enough. The human touch must come into play as the more valued solution to the problem of online abuse in all its forms.

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