Trump's Truth Social Will Use AI To Censor Platform
A.I and Censorship, it's a Complicated Relationship.
Intersection of A.I. and Censorship Heats Up in Bifurcation of Politics
Today’s post is going to be a little different. So hear me out.
I’m really interested in the topic of censorship around social networks, free speech and the use of A.I.
Truth Social, to be launched late next month, will set out to try and rival other Twitter alternatives such as GETTR and Gab.
Truth Social (also stylized TRUTH Social) is a proposed social media platform by Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG). According to a listing on the Apple App Store, the site plans to launch on 21 February 2022.
While some on the Right side of politics don’t think social media networks should be censored at all, and are somewhat against the adoption of A.I. in society, it appears that the Executives around Truth Social are not among them.
There is some controversy here since of course Trump's free speech social media site plans to use AI to automatically censor some posts. On a free speech network, there will always be some content that goes too far. The company, Hive, uses AI to scan platforms for banned content on the Truth Social site.
Donald Trump really hopes Truth Social can be an alternative to the left-leaning platforms of BigTech. Former President Donald Trump billed his yet-to-be launched social media site, Truth Social, as a free speech alternative to what he has claimed is the liberal censorship enforced by Big Tech.
As of June 2021, the list of where Trump got banned was pretty long.
Here’s What We Know
Truth Social will launch on Presidents Day (February 22) and use AI software developed by Hive, a tech company based in San Francisco, California.
The cloud-based AI will be automated to help Truth Social detect and censor images, videos, audio and text content that violate the site's policies, Fox Business reported.
The AI will help eliminate "sexually-explicit content, and posts that include violence, bullying, hate speech, and spam," Hive co-founder and CEO Kevin Guo recently told News outlets.
Guo argued that his company's moderation would not encroach on politics, the charge that Trump and his allies have leveled at the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Around the world A.I. can be used to detect censorship, but also to enforce it.
"This is not political," Guo said. "These are not things that are left or right or have any political baggage. When you think about these bigger companies, what they have put in place around things like misinformation, what they deem that to be, for instance, that's their prerogative."
When Truth Social wants to be different from major social platforms in censorship, the fact that it is using A.I. to censor sexually explicit spam and other forms of undesirable content is of course somewhat ironic, but in today’s world of online bullying, harassment, terrorism and toxic behavior online, there is an algorithm for that.
Facebook Uses A.I. to Censor Its Platform From Things Like Hate Speech
Back in 2020, Facebook claimed its A.I. detected 94.7% of the hate speech that got removed from its platform. Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer, revealed the figure in a blog post, adding that it is up from 80.5% in 2019 and just 24% in 2017. By 2022, that must figure must be optimized higher.
Guo was referring to the policies on sites like Twitter and Facebook banning the promotion of disinformation and misinformation that Trump and several his allies have fallen foul of, leading to them being evicted from the platforms. While using A.I to censor platforms is controversial, it’s clear BigTech platforms have policies that are more generally sympathetic to Democrats rather than Republicans as Trump often feuded with the mainstream Media in his Presidency.
Truth Social could rapidly position itself as an alternative to Twitter. Axios reports that there is some engineering coordination between Rumble, a YouTube rival that appeals to conservatives, and Truth Social.
LinkedIn China Was Shut Down in Late 2021
In late 2021, LinkedIn shut down LinkedIn China due to journalists being censored there.
In mid October 2021, Microsoft made the abrupt decision to shut down its LinkedIn China business. The platform, which entered China in 2014 and was purchased by Microsoft in 2016, appeared to be trying, clumsily, to comply with several scholars and journalists outside China complaining in recent weeks about having their Chinese-language accounts censored.
LinkedIn China represented a major portion of LinkedIn’s “international” users. In January 2021 Linkedin China had 5.1 million users. LinkedIn had been censoring content for years and struggling in China since its entry. The company's exodus was a long time coming, and not just because of its recent moves violating Western sensibilities.
Users in China mocked the name, "ling ying," which meant "leading elites" but sounded an awful lot like the Mandarin pronunciation of a term roughly meaning "the spirit of an unborn child." As one user said then on Weibo, LinkedIn looked like "a tragedy … about to play out." For Microsoft, it meant LinkedIn’s reputation as a global network had been tarnished.
Trump Even Had his E-Commerce Site Banned
Trump’s banning on the American BigTech internet extended to unlikely places that you may not have heard about. In perhaps the boldest move of all, Shopify removed Trump’s official campaign merchandise from its platform by disabling his online stores, trumpstore.com and shop.donaldjtrump.com.
“Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause,” said Shopify on January 7, 2021.
Truth Social Launches after the Beijing Olympics
While Truth Social has yet to reveal many details about its inner workings, there‘s some evidence the platform has been working to get up and running in the months ahead.
Let the games begin! In recent years social media has become a more fragmented and bifurcated place than previously with more toxic content, anonymous accounts and trolling as evidenced from the user experience in Facebook Groups, on Reddit, Discord, Twitter and LinkedIn, among other apps. It’s not clear what the user experience will be like on TRUTH Social or if it will just end up being an echo-bubble for Trump’s followers and sympathizers.
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What do you think about the use of A.I. in censorship and the evolution of new social platforms like TRUTH Social? Please be respectful if you choose to leave a comment.