The only social media platform I use is toiling in trolls and toxicity.
It’s profoundly disturbing to see social media be abused with weak enforcement of its’ own rules. To their credit, Twitter has stepped up far ahead of the pack compared to Facebook. It is becoming clearer however that the enforcement of the rules do not apply to many users both verified and those minus the check mark. A use can abuse others and be reported, yet remain because they might have hundreds of thousands, or potentially millions, of followers.
While I need to keep the political content to a minimum, I must share an observation related to obvious interference in the democratic process. Twitter has been an easy-to-drive car for users to roll recklessly on the information highway.
Leading up to the recent election here in Canada, I took notice of a few Twitter Bot accounts that were clearly tilting favour of a particular leader. What they were doing is replying to random messages written from that party leader’s account to say how great it was to talk to them in (place here) on (date here).
In scrolling other messages, I found exactly the same types of messages with the same wording but with difference places and dates. It appeared these bots would generate a date along with the location of where the leader would be campaigning. I did not take screenshots of this. You can take my word for it.
There is no doubt in my mind that there is ongoing interference in the pending United States Elections set for this fall. While I do my best to mute as much political content as possible, a few things did end up in my timelines that lead me to research a few trending hashtags. The interference in the American campaign is so widespread and obvious to any regular Twitter user. It’s happening from all sides of the spectrum from all ideologies.
How do I suspect accounts are bots? It’s easy. Often you will see no picture or a picture that appears to be photo-shopped from one of the many image hosting sites like Shutterstock. The account name is a first name that ends with a long combination of numbers, suggesting a random number generator is able to assign available account names to accounts.
Twitter needs to step up in order to drain the toxic lagoon it is becoming. Those of us who want to use it for good are getting discouraged and disheartened.