Twitter is making news and adjustments again and this time it is controversial. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has been in Ferguson, Missouri while Twitter Corporation has been testing a new feature and disallowing other types of features.
According to Gregory Wallace of CNN Money, Jack Dorsey went to his hometown of St. Louis in Missouri to witness protests happening in nearby Ferguson. Dorsey took pictures and videos of the daily protests and posted them to his Twitter account, @Jack.
Protests have been taking place in Ferguson, Missouri as a result of a controversial police shooting of a teenager named Michael Brown which resulted in the boy’s death. Although Dorsey is still tweeting on the happenings from his nearby location to Ferguson, he appears to be adding his own political opinions on the matter.
Twitter is making news and adjustments again and it appears controversial because it changes the way users view their timeline. Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic reported on his first-hand experience with a change that allows “favorited” tweets to appear on a user’s timeline.
Meyer stated he noticed a tweet from an user he did not follow. It included a line of small text which read someone he did follow had favorited that specific tweet. Meyer continued to state the new feature changes Twitter from being Twitter, and according to Mashable, some users are already annoyed by the new feature.
Not only is Twitter changing the way users see tweets, but it appears Twitter is preventing others from seeing certain kinds of tweets too. Dan Friedman of New York Daily News reported Twitter has shut down dozens of accounts related to the Islamic State, or IS.
Friedman stated Charles Lister, a visitor to Brookings Doha Center, had claimed 12 “provincial-level” IS accounts were disabled from Twitter on August 11. Lister then stated the accounts had appeared to have signed up to Twitter a couple more times, but were again disabled until only one “inactive” account remained. Friedman also stated an additional 10 accounts which may have been affiliated with IS were also suspended.
Friedman reported that terrorism experts had said these crackdowns mattered because terrorists use violent acts to frighten people, and use social media to reach a larger audience. In fact, Friedman reported IS was using unrelated, popular hashtags to post gruesome images.
Twitter spokesman, Nu Wexler, was reported as saying the corporation does not report on user’s information for privacy reasons. Friedman also added that Twitter has a policy which includes suspending accounts that “publish or post direct, specific threats of violence.”
Twitter is making news and adjustments again and it appears to include information on protests which have been happening in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as violence in the Middle East. Co-founder Jack Dorsey was on-site tweeting about the protests in Ferguson while the corporation was also making efforts to prevent IS from using its service to spread gruesome images. Although Twitter is trying to adapt new features in order to spread more information to its users, the service may have to decide between its core value system and how it executes its business policies, particularly with its role in preventing the spread of terrorism. Many users may or may not agree with Twitter’s policies, but ultimately it is up to the corporation and local governing laws.
By Liz Pimentel