Post reshared from: https://mashable.com, Twitter Spaces is being weaponized by white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and other extremist groups, according to researchers.A new report by the Washington Post highlights the hate speech and extremism that can be found on the largely unmoderated Twitter feature, Spaces.Some examples of the extremist content being disseminated via Twitter Spaces include coronavirus disinformation and conspiracy theories, as well as derogatory discussions about Muslims, transgender people, and Black Americans. Twitter Spaces is the social network’s new-ish built-in audio feature allowing users to host live conversations with other users – basically an audio-only livestream where Twitter users can either just listen-in or volunteer to take part in the discussion too. Twitter first announced the feature in late 2020. The company then started rolling Twitter Spaces out to more users throughout 2021.According to the report, Twitter executives knew it would be easy for malicious actors to break Twitter’s policies within Twitter Spaces, yet employee concerns over these issues were pushed to the side in favor of platform growth.To be fair to Twitter, these issues exist in the online audio space as a whole. Unlike written content, real-time audio moderation technology is in the very early stages. For now, audio moderation largely relies on users reporting prohibited content or human moderators listening to the content.”Ensuring people’s safety and encouraging healthy conversations, while helping hosts and listeners to control their experience, have been key priorities since the beginning of [Spaces’] development,” said a Twitter spokesperson to the Washington Post. “We’re exploring avenues in this regard, but it’s not something that we have available at this time.”Clubhouse, the stand-alone mobile audio platform that Twitter Spaces was seemingly inspired by, also faced similar issues when it blew up in popularity during the early months of the pandemic. Far right extremists and terrorist groups flocked to this new social platform to spread their hateful messages and ideologies.
Why is everyone on Twitter ‘pondering the orb’?
The problem with Twitter Spaces, specifically, is that it’s built into a giant social media platform that already has hundreds of millions of regular users. Combine that with how Twitter promotes Spaces, placing live audio chats at the very top of users’ feeds, which makes Spaces content easily discoverable. That’s a lot of people these extremists can easily target. Currently, Twitter records all Spaces chats and temporarily saves them for the purpose of moderation. If a Twitter user within Spaces is reported, the company can refer to the recording and dole out whatever punishment it deems necessary.Twitter Spaces certainly has its fans. It’s a unique social feature and I have heard praise about it from other users, personally. But it’s clear that Twitter has a lot of work to do in order to address its problems. Source: Read More