miss_s_b: (Who: Maxil (pillock))
[personal profile] miss_s_b
There's a simple reason for that: twitter's misogyny problem is society's misogyny problem. The only way to solve it is to make misogyny have worse consequences than non-misogyny. This is not going to happen any time soon.

The current furore has arisen over a(nother) high profile lady being shocked at the level of abuse women who dare to speak out against misogyny get heaped upon them. Why is anybody still surprised by this? Hell if I know. More saliently, why is anyone still daft enough to blame the medium? Before twitter there were forums, usenet, anonymous phone calls, poison pen letters... probably cave paintings, in which some insecure lonely arse decided that the best way to make himelf feel powerful was to belittle someone else. Humanity has been dealing with hurtful communication since communication began. If "stop communicating" was the answer, it probably would have worked by now.

The problem with the suggested solution is that, like Cameron's porn block, it's not a solution but a sweeping under the carpet. Reporting an abuse to twitter, even if it worked as the people suggesting it hope it might, will not change the mind of the misogynist, nor show him the error of his ways. It merely pushes the problem out of sight, off twitter. It won't stop the misogynist finding other outlets for his poison - email, say, or letters.

Say twitter DID install a "report abuse" button. They're not going to have moderators look at every report, they can't afford the staff. So what will happen is they will set a number, like they have for report spam, when if x number of people report it, the account gets suspended. Now, if you're a troll who is trying to upset someone, all you will do at that point is set up another account. You won't have used an account you are attached to for the trolling because you'll know it could get suspended. The other thing a troll could do is set up multiple accounts, and simply click "report abuse" on every one of the target's tweets until THEIR account, which they are likely much more attached to, gets suspended. You see the thing about trolls is, they see it as a game. Put a challenge in front of them, and it's just another level to work out how to get through.

A report abuse button which is easy to click on is easy to click on for EVERYBODY, not just those who are genuinely being abused. So the EDL will probably click on it for the English Disco Lovers. And homophobes will click on it on the accounts of gay people. And TERFs will click on it on the accounts of transfolk.

If you want to actually stop people being abusive arseholes, making twitter install a report abuse button is not going to do the trick, and will have all sorts of nasty unintended consequences. What MIGHT do the trick is the sort of real world consequences which fell on the head of Paul Chambers after the twitter joke trial, but even that, I would suggest, is a road we do not want to go down. The rozzers would swiftly be snowed under if every abusive tweet were reported and our justice system is already creaking after this government's "reforms".

No, I'm afraid the only solution is to make this kind of behaviour socially unacceptable among the peers these idiots are trying to impress. And that's not easy, and it will take effort from all of us. I'll not be holding my breath.

Date: Sunday, July 28th, 2013 07:49 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Really, the only model I can see being helpful would be:

Set complex, smart thresholds similar to the sort that prevents the Beliebers from holding the top trends 100% of the time.

After the threshold has been passed on a pushbutton "report abuse", it gets review from a real human. Accounts are not suspended automatically, though they might be removed from search and have a lower threshold of "hey, you're being too high-volume here" automatically.

If the "abuse" is found to be bogus, the tweets of the reported are added to a corpus of things that were found legit. Additionally, the accounts of the bogus clickers have a "cried wolf" ticker incremented.

If the abuse is found to be legit, the tweets of the reported are added to a corpus of things that were found to include abuse, with the specific abusive tweets added to a smaller, more selective Confirmed Abuse corpus. The accounts of the reporters have a "legit beef" ticker incremented.

Automation would then be able to get a larger number of legit cases in front of humans. Verification would include samplings of cases automatically thought to *not* be legit, and samplings of others across the spectrum, just to keep the thing calibrated.
Edited Date: Sunday, July 28th, 2013 07:51 am (UTC)

Date: Sunday, July 28th, 2013 08:05 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Yeah -- under that model, a *lot* would not get reviewed, thus the thresholds to route the highest priority ones, and keep the thresholds calibrated to deliver a chunk that was sized appropriately for the number of hours of labor available.

I don't think that something the size of Twitter would do well with volunteer abuse frontliners.

Date: Sunday, July 28th, 2013 08:28 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Weirdly, that was barely in my top few concerns.

Volunteers doing that sort of thing require nearly the same level of supervisory support that say contractors would.

It is soul-sucking work, and volunteers in my experience tend to get personally invested and take damage worse than someone who can say "this is a job at which I get a paycheck; I can look for another job if I need to leave."

Volunteers may not be able to put in a full workday/work week; in a position where everyone requires more than a cursory ethics/Internet Good Citizenship/general sensible behavior check, say you have 5 volunteers performing 8 hours a week each, or 1 paid person performing 40 hours a week. You just saved 4 background checks. In a position with possible high turnaround, that's important. Also you're supervising 1 person instead of 5; some things still don't scale well, and supervisor:supervisee is one.

At a certain point of requiring confidentiality, it makes more sense to have a person with a paid relationship than a volunteer.

Dreamwidth is one of the few places where the leadership can say "I have an enormously tedious, repetitive, and thankless task that needs doing. Do I hear any volunteers?" and actually get results. It's a job that needs people who can handle tedious, repetitive, and thankless tasks, as well as a certain amount of emotional distance from people being horrible to each other. A person who volunteers for "fight abuse!" sorts of things seems to me to be more inclined to be sensitive rather than hardened, and more likely to either burn out quickly, have difficulty with enforcing written standard policy (because there are asshole moves that are still within any rules that actually allow for reasonably free expression), or get bored when there's no hit of emotional satisfaction upon resolving a case, just a never-ending pile of tedium and horror.

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