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Twitter thinks you shouldn’t tweet ‘fuck’ so often

Really, Twitter?

twitter prompt asking you to review your language before tweeting
Image: Twitter

Twitter thinks you swear too much in your tweets, so it’s rolling out a cybergrandma prompt that’s going to ask you to “pause and reconsider” before you tweet your latest dril-emulating drivel into the ether.

Yes, the same Twitter that allowed millions of bots to influence the 2016 elections. The Twitter that’s stuffed full of pornography. That same Twitter wants you to self-moderate your language.

Well, I say fuck that noise. Swearing is an acceptable way to punctuate exactly the types of conversations that services like Twitter are so good at fostering.

The new algorithm used for this feature is supposed to pick out “insults, strong language, hateful remarks” and prompt the user to rethink their tweet, if not their life, but it seems to fall short to me. Without knowing what wordlists it uses, will it be able to decide if a neo-nazi is using coded language, or if your grandma is just tweeting her shopping list instead of writing it into her to-do app?

Probably not, as Twitter itself admits that the previous tests “often didn’t differentiate between potentially offensive language, sarcasm, and friendly banter.” 

Now the algorithms take into account prior interactions with the two accounts, language that’s been reclaimed by the marginalized groups that were the target of it previously, and better ways to recognize profanity.

Anyway, at least Twitter does let you say ‘fuck,’ even if you get nagged about it before you tweet, eh Mike?

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