Trump’s Truth Social will use moderation bots
Donald Trump’s vision for a hellish social media site free liberal censorship, the again-at-to be-spear Truth Social will rely on the same automatic moderation tools as its competitors, you know, liberal censorship bots.
According to a report released Monday by fox businessTrump Technology & Media Group (TMTG) has signed an agreement with a company called Hive, which helps technology companies automatically detect content that is illegal or violates a company’s terms of service. Devin Nunes, CEO of TMTGformer Republican congressman, told the network that the ultimate goal is to help Truth Social become a “family-friendly” site — which apparently means banning things that social conservatives don’t like.
“We want to be very family-friendly, we want this to be a very safe place, and we work hard to make sure that no illegal content is on the site,” Nunes told Fox, adding that they wanted Truth Social. to be the “most family-friendly site”. Hive co-founder and CEO Kevin Guo added that TMTG has been “very thoughtful and very proactive” when it comes to moderation, saying its technology can help identify content such as “nudity, drugs, violence, hate speech, spam and bullying”.
“It’s not political,” Guo continued. “…These are not things that are left or right or have a political background. When you think about these big corporations, what they’ve set up around things like misinformation, what they consider to be, for example, that’s their prerogative.
Hive’s system “doesn’t do things like try to censor all political speech,” Guo told Fox Business.. “We don’t have models for this or models for misinformation.”
Trump is notoriously angry at the way tech companies police content — yelling at general chat moderators that they’re discriminating against proud, God-fearing patriots is somehow his thingto the point of becoming one of cornerstone planks of his administration. Besides shouting incessantly about things like shadow bans, he was an advocate of tear article 230 communication decency Act, the law that provides websites with broad legal protections from liability for most types of user-generated content. He even went so far as to propose a plan to turn the Federal Communications Commission into a sort of online speech font who would be beautiful social media sites he considered conservatives to be censoring.
The use of self-moderating bots highlights the contradiction at the heart of the Republican stance on the issue. Trump and his team seem to be trying to take the learning curve further than before MAGA theme sites like Parler and Gettr, who quickly found that a lack of moderation could lead to launched app storesto be inundated with racist propagandaor facing a wave of hentai spam and pictures of men in diapers. Truth Social probably couldn’t function even at a basic operational level if it didn’t employ this type of technology. Any technology platform that runs at scale on user-generated content can and likely will be used to upload illegal or highly unwanted content, ranging from child sexual abuse material and material support for terrorism to malware and spam. Businesses in general i want to remove this stuff for obvious commercial and legal reasons.
If a site is large enough, human moderators are usually not up to the task of sorting it all out, nor is it a good use of their time. Companies therefore often rely on automated tools to handle easier tasks that can be offloaded, such as deleting the same illegal JPEG over and over again. There are all sorts of problems with this type of system, including that tech companies like Google pull it out regularly as an excuse to justify numerical absenteeism, or to implement unjust regimes on issues such as copyright. But for any site aiming to operate on a scale even approaching Facebook’s standels, like Trump seems to want, the use of bots is less a choice than a legal obligation.
Like TechDirt’s Mike Masnick regularly pointed out, previous sites touting themselves as free-speech havens for conservatives found themselves at lightning speed the kind of tactics they denounce from the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
They just end up with a completely different set of arbitrary rules, which in this case apparently means users can feel free to spread antivax propaganda, voter fraud hoaxes, or QAnon conspiracy theories with wild abandon, but God forbid anyone seeing a breast. Beyond its general conditions of service, Truth Social’s rules are not yet public, and TMTG did not respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment. But Truth Social’s stated intention to make the site the “most family-friendly” site appears at first glance to be much stricter on the type of content that offends social conservatives, like Twitter, which allows pornography; Reddit, which is full of forums dedicated to porn and drugs; and YouTube, which is full of violent media.
This is, of course, assuming Truth Social users wish to follow the rules. and the site is interested in enforcing them. Nunes told Fox that Truth Social will be “open to all ideas, all left-to-right political debate” and dedicated to “free flow of debate and ideas around the world, so people can learn the and debate with each other.If the recent history of MAGA-themed social media apps is any indication, it seems more likely that Truth Social will become a con-trawled echo chamber for conservatives. gullible easily separated from their wallets, but hey.
Nunes was once a proponent of a BS argument popular among conservatives that social media sites may not be protected from prosecution under Section 230 if they remove political content. Logic dictates that when they selectively remove certain views and not others, they cease to be a platform and instead become an editor akin to a newspaper opinion page. It’s just not how the law works…it applies broadly and makes no such distinctions. The argument has always seemed more like an excuse for Trump and other GOP politicians to label sites they like as Section 230 protected platforms and sites they don’t as publishers. legally vulnerable.
Now that he’s the CEO of a tech company, Nunes is changing his tune somewhat (while being careful to point out that Truth Social and its self-moderating bots are definitely a platform, not a publisher).
“It’s the law of the land. Obviously, in the past, I’ve expressed my frustration about this – mainly, when does a website or tech company become a publisher? Nunes told Fox. “…The bottom line is that any changes that are made to Section 230 in the future, we’re not worried at all because we’re not going to be in that kind of business.”
Interestingly for a site that considers itself a platform with no involvement in editorial content, Truth Social picks and chooses internet celebrities to woo for its upcoming launch. Axios announced tuesday that Truth Social’s “VIP” department is reaching out to influencers to ask if they’d like to “reserve” their “preferred username for the late February/early March launch.”