A week ago, Twitter announced that it would become more aggressive in the search for trolls in its service, a move that seems to have had some unforeseen consequences, judging by the current turmoil in the Bulgarian Twitter community. A number of increasingly large and unhappy people were suspended their Twitter accounts and the messages of the conversations were leaked, apparently for the offense of simply tweeting in Cyrillic.
Although the trigger of an account has been suspended has not been specifically established, the prevailing hypothesis, based on user experience, seems to be that mentioning @YouTube or any other main account in Cyrillic will cause problems. Perversely, even if the initial tweeter is not affected, the chances of being suspended for anyone responding to a tweet in Cyrillic are even greater. This problem has afflicted people with accounts that date back to 2009, some of which have thousands of followers. While I was able to verify the experience mainly of the Bulgarian users, this plague in the Cyrillic use of Twitter seems to extend beyond that community.
According to the Twitter criteria, it is stated that a user has "links" with the Russian government if he "frequently tweets in Russian" pic.twitter.com/vscVNZBBUh
– Michael Tracey (@mtracey) November 1, 2017
Why does this happen? The most likely explanation is that Twitter has stepped up its algorithms to eliminate Russian bots and trolls, and since the Russians use Cyrillic, the same use of the alphabet is being treated like a red flag. Except, you know, the Bulgarians invented the Cyrillic alphabet. It is used in a group of Slavic countries outside of Russia, and even within Russia, not everyone is really a troll .
In @Twitter HQ:
& # 39; My God, we have so many Russian bots! I have to stop them! But how?! & # 39;
& # 39; Hm, they use Cyrillic … & # 39;
& # 39; Oh? So start the hidden tweets in Cyrillic! & # 39;
& # 39; But … & # 39;
& # 39; Just do it! & # 39;
& # 39; Done & # 39;
& # 39; Beautiful! … Beer? & # 39;
(FUN FACT: Cyrillic is the official script in> 15 countries that are not Russia) pic.twitter.com/ku4x391fdP
– The most mature gentleman (@VSchwarz) May 21, 2018
Innocent users are able to recover their accounts reasonably quickly after a suspension, but then Twitter treats them as digital pariahs, displaying "tweet unavailable" messages when they reply to a thread of conversation and also It prevents sending notifications to others. If you want to know what the term "shadow ban" refers to, well, it's basically this kind of treatment. It is especially problematic because when an affected person comes to Twitter support and help services, they are informed that their account is not prohibited and that everything is fine. Except that your friends can not receive any notification from them or see their contributions to group conversations.
When it came to a comment, Twitter took two days to respond with the following:
"We are investigating this issue and will take the necessary steps to resolve it, while continuing to take steps to enforce our terms of service and combat the malicious networks of spam and automation. "
Ironically, even though it has become a functional customer service portal for many third parties To gather the opinion of customers, Twitter remains a company and a provider of services that do not respond. People without check marks already tend to feel ignored and neglected by Twitter, and this current episode only serves to reinforce that impression.