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Hrmbee OP t1_j8ybagg wrote

>We worked on ways to improve our toxic-speech-identification algorithms so they would not discriminate against African-American Vernacular English as well as forms of reclaimed speech. All of this depended on rank-and-file employees. Messy as it was, Twitter sometimes seemed to function mostly on goodwill and the dedication of its staff. But it functioned. > >Those days are over. From the announcement of Musk’s bid to the day he walked into the office holding a sink, I watched, horrified, as he slowly killed Twitter’s culture. Debate and constructive dissent was stifled on Slack, leaders accepted their fate or quietly resigned, and Twitter slowly shifted from being a company that cared about the people on the platform to a company that only cares about people as monetizable units. The few days I spent at Musk’s Twitter could best be described as a Lord of the Flies–like test of character as existing leadership crumbled, Musk’s cronies moved in, and his haphazard management—if it could be called that—instilled a sense of fear and confusion. > >Unfortunately, Musk cannot simply be ignored. He has purchased a globally influential and politically powerful seat. We certainly don’t need to speculate on his thoughts about algorithmic ethics. He reportedly fired a top engineer earlier this month for suggesting that his engagement was waning because people were losing interest in him, rather than because of some kind of algorithmic interference. (Musk initially responded to the reporting about how his tweets are prioritized by posting an off-color meme, and today called the coverage “false.”) And his track record is far from inclusive: He has embraced far-right talking points, complained about the “woke mind virus,” and explicitly thrown in his lot with Donald Trump and Ye (formerly Kanye West). > >Devaluing work on algorithmic biases could have disastrous consequences, especially because of how perniciously invisible yet pervasive these biases can become. As the arbiters of the so-called digital town square, algorithmic systems play a significant role in democratic discourse. In 2021, my team published a study showing that Twitter’s content-recommendation system amplified right-leaning posts in Canada, France, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Our analysis data covered the period right before the 2020 U.S. presidential election, identifying a moment in which social media was a crucial touch point of political information for millions. Currently, right-wing hate speech is able to flow on Twitter in places such as India and Brazil, where radicalized Jair Bolsonaro supporters staged a January 6–style coup attempt. > >Musk’s Twitter is simply a further manifestation of how self-regulation by tech companies will never work, and it highlights the need for genuine oversight. We must equip a broad range of people with the tools to pressure companies into acknowledging and addressing uncomfortable truths about the AI they’re building. Things have to change.

This was an interesting perspective from someone who experienced this shift firsthand. It's certainly worth taking heed of the warning of algorithmic biases that are already baked into many systems. Further, self regulation though laudable, has proven at least in most tech sectors, to be ineffective at best. What we need are regulators who are familiar with key issues that are facing technology as it relates to broader society, but not beholden to tech companies or platforms. This will be tricky going forwards, but if properly administered can bring lasting benefits not just to the platforms, but also to the rest of society as well.


ilfollevolo t1_j923esv wrote

I think the most poignant and concerning point is that Musk is using one of the most powerful propaganda machines to foster his view to the masses, he got rid of everyone standing in the way, things don’t just happen casually


whatweshouldcallyou t1_j91bj4h wrote

"Algorithmic bias" research is mostly trash. The more rigorous of it just pretends statisticians haven't been working on sample adjustment and balancing for causal inference for literally generations, and the less rigorous simply insists that we should ignore that things are not equally and identically distributed across population subgroups.


tiktaktok_65 t1_j956ihw wrote

you don't even know what she did. talking out of your fucking ass.


asciiman2000 t1_j8yx3xu wrote

Elon is a goofball but who are these regulators you speak of? Who controls them? What is their political orientation? How do you ensure that they stay neutral and don't limit voices they don't agree with? I think you have a long way to go to invent a solution that you could convince me would be actually better than just allowing Elon to do what he wants. Most attempts to do stuff like this just result in giving power to the government to control speech and holy fuck do I think that is a bad idea.


skolioban t1_j9022h9 wrote

The difference between handing power to tech moguls instead of politicians is that we have a mechanism to replace politicians but zero mechanism to replace tech moguls. Is the mechanism flawless and effective? No. But it's still better than nothing.


whatweshouldcallyou t1_j91bq1l wrote

So you'd be totally fine with the Trump administration regulating how social media companies operate?


Asyncrosaurus t1_j91k21x wrote

Well Trump's gone now, and Elon is sticking around. So yes, the guy you can kick out is the better option than the guy who just has implicit power forever.


ForkLiftBoi t1_j91g06x wrote

Well ideally you'd do it as an agency. But we've seen how that can also have major changes quickly with administration changes... Used to be more stable as was the intent of agencies, but they're largely not.

So I would say I wish they were regulated by an agency created by Congress with characteristics they used to be 70-80 years ago. But yeah that ain't gonna happen


skolioban t1_j91ufvo wrote

We removed the Trump administration. We can't remove Elon Musk.


0pimo t1_j91cc4q wrote

>zero mechanism to replace tech moguls

Sure we do. You stop using their products and they go broke and leave.


Arkeband t1_j91y74n wrote

lmfao “just use a different internet 4head”


skolioban t1_j91uw9x wrote

Except when they have a monopoly. Try to go without any Google or Microsoft services. The US can't even remove Turbo Tax, an entirely useless service that served as a pay gate for regular people to pay tax.

It's easier to remove government administration than to forego giant corporation's products.


brycebgood t1_j9119rd wrote

> who are these regulators meat inspectors you speak of? Who controls them? What is their political orientation preferred meat? How do you ensure that they stay neutral and don't limit my access to bacon voices they don't agree with?

No regulation is perfect, but that's not a reason not to try.


whatweshouldcallyou t1_j91bsft wrote

When social media gives someone salmonella, then come back and request regulation.


Arkeband t1_j91yde2 wrote

it gave millions of people more Covid due to mass disinformation, does that count?


DevAnalyzeOperate t1_j92bzxs wrote

Her job was nonsense, her job was algorithm biaser, she biased algorithms so they wouldn’t hit non-majorities, musk came in and stripped the “toxic speech identification” and removed bias against all groups entirely. I don’t care if you claim to be benefiting white hetero Christian’s or trans black folx, by putting your finger on the scale of algorithms, you’re picking favourites.

She was paid to perpetuate something fundamentally unethical, good riddance, how lame do you have to be for Elon Musk of all people to be more ethical than you?

Those who want to regulate social media into mandatory discrimination are fucking evil by the way and if anything is this about as good as an argument for self-regulation as you are going to get.


tiktaktok_65 t1_j956lfp wrote

again someone making a general statement without knowing shit. the world is more complicated than your gut sense or your anecdotal experience.


DevAnalyzeOperate t1_j97b089 wrote

Lol complicated? Elon removed the censorship, and thus he removed the discrimination. This woman was part of the system to justify the perpetuation of discrimination and censorship. Not all that complicated. The complications you refer to are a bunch of bullshit.

If I'm going to do apologetics, Elon threw tens of billions of dollars down to end this discrimination which may have best gone towards better causes, and she didn't really have any opportunity to end discrimination like Elon could due to his stacks of cash, so one can see her as doing the best she could have done given the opportunity she had. But for her to act like what she was doing was somehow morally better than what's happening now mostly reflects the fact she's morally disgusting as are her pro-discrimination pro-censorship supporters.


tanrgith t1_j90tjuw wrote

Progressive ex twitter employee posts article on progressive newsite the atlantic, expressing feelings of not being a fan of Elon Musk's changes to Twitter, more news at 11

As if Twitter wasn't already a toxic hellscape long before Musk took it over