Twitter’s CEO is punishing a comedian more sternly than he punishes neo-Nazis. Two weeks ago, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent Jaboukie Young-White changed his Twitter name and picture to resemble the FBI’s official profile, and tweeted, “Just because we killed MLK doesn’t mean we can’t miss him.” Not long after he published this tweet, Jaboukie was suspended from the platform for the second time in less than 48 hours. The first time was for a tweet he published only one day before, in which he impersonated “Kent State Gun Girl,” Kaitlin Bennett, and joked that she had a “poo accident,” which she’s reportedly done. Yes, these tweets are funny. And, yes, they do violate Twitter’s Terms of Service, which include the statement: “We reserve the right to remove content that violates the User Agreement, including […] impersonation.” Because of this, no matter how funny or how grounded in the truth Jaboukie’s tweets may be, the comedian was banned for violating the rules each user agrees to when they sign up for an account. Sometimes, though, these rules only seem to apply to certain people. Shockingly, these rules don’t apply to white supremacists. Even casual Twitter users are aware of the jokes made at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s expense about his reluctance to ban the white supremacists running rampant on his website.
Like most social media sites, Twitter uses an algorithm to broadly target hateful content. Using this algorithm, Twitter has entirely eradicated ISIS content, limiting its ability to spread. In targeting legitimate ISIS propaganda, many innocent Twitter accounts, such as Islamic news outlets, have also been banned as a result, since the algorithm can’t detect the contextual differences of the content it’s suppressing. This is a cost some, especially white people in the West, have had no problems with. According to a VICE article, Twitter hasn’t used a similar algorithm to eliminate white nationalism because if the platform banned known white nationalists, the other Twitter accounts also banned in the fallout would be those of Republican politicians. Aside from potential lawsuits and partisan outrage caused by banning Republicans, one major difficulty about using the algorithm to remove white supremacists from Twitter is the sheer number of them that already exist on the platform

via queensjournal: Twitter shouldn’t be a platform for propagating hate