When actor Rose McGowan doxxed someone by tweeting a private phone number last week, Twitter acted quickly to restrict her account until she deleted the tweet, which was in violation of the platform’s terms of service. although a BuzzFeed News analysis of thousands of tweets inside same timeframe, as well as thousands more a week later, shows in which Twitter’s enforcement of doxxing bans will be inconsistent at best.
Although the company was swift to crack down on McGowan’s account as she was discussing film producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct, the idea’s slower to act on less prominent users who break the same rule, which prohibits publicly tweeting someone’s private phone number.
Using Twitter’s Search API, we collected 10,000 tweets between October 9 as well as October 13 as well as found 5 in which included people’s private phone numbers. All are still up. We also used Twitter’s Streaming API to collect tweets for eight hours on October 14, as well as for nine hours on October 16. Over in which time period, we found 32 tweets containing phone numbers belonging to people different than the tweeter. On average, in which’s roughly two private phone numbers per hour, as well as about 45 per day. Of these tweets, only 5 had been deleted by October 17, as well as only six had been deleted by October 19.
The examples we collected are just a tiny sample of tweets in which violate Twitter’s rules, although still slip past the company’s enforcement tools. While BuzzFeed News focused its search on tweets containing private phone numbers, quick searches turned up tweets containing additional personally identifiable information for people different than the tweeter, including addresses as well as email addresses. Often, This specific information will be posted on Twitter along with explicit calls to doxx the targets.
When BuzzFeed News reached out to three Twitter users whose numbers had been made public, two said they hadn’t reported the tweets because they wanted to give the doxxer time to take the idea down themselves, as well as the third said they hadn’t seen the tweets yet. We reported three doxxing tweets containing private numbers to Twitter on Monday, October 16. As of This specific article’s publication, two remain online.
We asked Twitter how the idea responds when users post others’ private information on its platform. A Twitter spokesperson stated, “We are constantly looking for opportunities to use Machine Learning to help make Twitter safer as well as will continue to leverage more ML/AI to improve the detection of content in which violates our terms of service. As we announced last week, we are taking a more aggressive stance with our rules as well as how we enforce them. We’re moving quickly to make these updates as well as we will share more soon.”
Twitter has struggled with harassment for a decade, as well as the idea has long relied on algorithms as well as automated systems to enforce its rules. although the company as well as the algorithms the idea relies on have a tendency to overlook abuse on its platform, as well as Twitter often takes action only when the media publicly calls out an issue, or when prominent figures like Leslie Jones or McGowan are involved.
Over the past year, as Twitter has faced increasing pressure through the public to quash abuse on its platform, the idea has rolled out a series of harassment-combating tools as well as efforts, including more ways to report misconduct, keyword filters, muting abilities, as well as timeline tweaks in which bury abusive tweets. Still, detecting abuse will be not the same as effectively stopping the idea. Reporting by BuzzFeed News inside past year has uncovered hundreds of examples of harassment on Twitter; in many cases, when victims report the abusive tweets, Twitter dismisses the reports because the idea doesn’t consider them to be in violation of Twitter’s rules.
although the company seems to be doubling down on these tools, recently telling BuzzFeed News in which the idea’s “focusing more on improving its abuse-filtering algorithms rather than hiring more humans.” as well as This specific week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey publicly shared the company’s internal safety work streams as well as shipping calendar in an attempt to be more transparent with users about Twitter’s push to root out bad behavior.
In a blog post on Thursday, the company wrote, “We’re updating our approach to make Twitter a safer place. This specific won’t be a quick or easy fix, although we’re committed to getting the idea right. Far too often inside past we’ve said we’d do better as well as promised transparency although have fallen short in our efforts. Starting today, you can expect regular, real-time updates about our progress.” Upcoming efforts include plans to immediately suspend accounts in which post non-consensual nude images as well as videos, an updated account suspension process, as well as bans on accounts in which promote violence.