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Twitter says brace for enforcement mistakes as it increases reliance on automated systems during pandemic

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Twitter has warned users that it will be ramping up its use of automated systems to enforce its rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic and that “this may result in us making mistakes.”

In a blog post, Twitter’s Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead, Vijaya Gadde, and Twitter’s VP of Sales, Matt Derella, wrote “we will not permanently suspend any accounts based solely on our automated enforcement systems” and added that Twitter will “look for opportunities to build in human review checks where they will be most impactful.”

This suggests that a human reviewer will step in when an account has been flagged for permanent suspension but other actions, such as temporary suspensions or tweet removals, may be enforced by Twitter’s automated systems with little human intervention.

In addition to increasing its reliance on automated systems, the post states that Twitter will also be “instituting a global content severity triage system” which prioritizes “the potential rule violations that present the biggest risk of harm” and reduces “the burden on people to report them.”

The post adds that Twitter will also be “reviewing the Twitter Rules in the context of COVID-19 and considering ways in which they may need to evolve to account for new account behavior” but it doesn’t currently provide any details of how the rules may change.

The warning about these enforcement mistakes comes days after Niche Gamer and Justin Whang both had their Twitter accounts suspended after being hit with bogus DMCA claims.

Whang’s account has been restored but Niche Gamer is currently still suspended.

On the same day that Twitter made this announcement, YouTube also told its users to expect more deleted videos, appeal delays, and suppressed live streams during the coronavirus pandemic.

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