Trumpist Gettr Social Network Continues To Speed Run Content Moderation Learning Curve: Bans, Then Unbans, Roger Stone

from the welcome-to-the-content-moderation-game dept

Remember Gettr? That’s the Trumpist social network run by former Trump spokesperson (and vexatious lawsuit filer) Jason Miller that promised to be supportive of “free speech.” As we point out what happens with every new social network that jumps into the space with promises to “support free speech!” and “not censor!” before long they will begin to realize content moderation is required to keep your site running — and soon they discover that content moderation will involve difficult choices. And, sometimes, it involves making mistakes.

Of course, whenever Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whoever else note that they made a “mistake” with a content moderation decision and reverse it, there are always some people who insist it couldn’t possibly be a mistake and must be [insert conspiratorial reason here]. So I find it hilarious that on Wednesday, Gettr got to experience all this as well. First, Trump buddy and admitted “dirty trickster” Roger Stone went on Gab — another such social network — to whine about how he was “censored” by Gettr, claiming it was because he had made what he believed were disparaging remarks about Miller (and Steve Bannon).

This graphic alone is pretty hilarious, given all the people who insisted that Gettr doesn’t do moderation.

A few hours later, Jason Miller told Salon reporter Zachary Petrizzo, that it was all a mistake, and blamed the problem of a bunch of fake Stone accounts that the site was trying to get rid of. In the process, Miller claimed, they “accidentally” deleted the real Stone’s account. The timing coming right after Stone made remarks about Miller was, apparently, entirely coincidental.

“Multiple fake Roger Stone accounts were suspended following user complaints, but his real Gettr account was inadvertently suspended too,” Miller told Salon via email. “His correct account is currently active, and the imposter accounts have all been removed.”

It’s almost like… running a social media account with malicious actors are trying to abuse requires content moderation, and that will often involve making mistakes, rather than, say, “bias” or desires to silence particular people.

Who knows why Gettr actually suspended Stone? These kinds of things happen all the time on all the other social media sites too. It doesn’t mean it’s malicious or directed at silencing a critic (though, honestly, there’s a higher likelihood that is true with a site like Gettr than with Twitter or Facebook, that actually have real policies in place and a history of training staff to moderate judiciously). It could actually be a mistake. Just like Twitter and Facebook sometimes make mistakes.

I’m still waiting for Miller and his fans to realize that all of these challenges that Gettr is facing are no different than the ones that other social media apps faced — and that maybe all their earlier complaints of “censorship” were just as bullshit then as the claims about Gettr being censorial today are. I get the feeling that I’ll be waiting a long, long time for that recognition to set in.

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Companies: gab, gettr

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Comments on “Trumpist Gettr Social Network Continues To Speed Run Content Moderation Learning Curve: Bans, Then Unbans, Roger Stone”

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46 Comments
Bloofsays:

And when the owners of these sites finally admit they need Section 230, the frothing lunatics they’ve been riling up since the Obama admin will turn on them, decrying them as globalists, secret leftists and silicon valley elites. They will be unable to do much of anything to stop them spewing forth the same threats and conspiracies toward them that they’ve inflicted on all of the right’s other enemies.

Who would have thought the leopards would eat their faces?

Anonymoussays:

I get the feeling that I’ll be waiting a long, long time

How long have we all been waiting for the regular critics here, who insist that social media has an anti-conservative bias, to provide evidence in the form of what conservative ideas are being censored and who is being censored espousing those ideas.

The days have turned into weeks, the weeks into months, and months into years.

Still waiting…..

Kobysays:

Probably Not

all of these challenges that Gettr is facing are no different than the ones that other social media apps faced

Proposals have been issed that whenever someone gets banned from a site, that a specific reason be issued for the banning. It definitely would have been useful in this circumstance. At least GETTR provided a valid reason after the fact, that they were banning with the (mis-)understanding that they were removing an impostor account. Most of the monopolist social media networks never provide any such reasoning, at most reporting that it was just a mysterious "technical glitch". Banning gets done by deliberate human action. The question is whether it was an understandable mistake, or it was politically motivated.

James Burkhardtsays:

Re: Probably Not

Bans are very rarely described as a technical glitch. Those quotes you used suggest you are taking a quote fragment from one event and one ban and generalizing it to every event and every ban.

Social media typically directs to community standards, which are valid reasons. The issue is that they often aren’t specific. This is generally because they don’t want to imply character traits. For instance, Facebook doesn’t want to say "IMADouche88 was banned for advocating White Supremacy". Thats not a good look for Facebook and would rightly piss everyone off. See the Boiler Plate on the roger stone ban – its for violating Gettr Terms. Not for impersonating roger Stone, not for fraud, not for anything but violating Gettr terms. Every other ban has that same boiler plate. If they had never banned the actual roger stone, that is all anyone would have gotten over the fake account bans.

You are objectively wrong about the differences, because in this specific case you can find a mildly more specific explanation because they made that mistake. But the actual explanation provided at the time of banning was just as specific as any other website, which is why Roger Stone had to complain on Gab.

That One Guysays:

Which 'politics' are being banned Koby, BE SPECIFIC

Conservative: I have been censored for my conservative views
Me: Holy shit! You were censored for wanting lower taxes?
Con: LOL no?no not those views
Me: So?deregulation?
Con: Haha no not those views either
Me: Which views, exactly?
Con: Oh, you know the ones

(All credit to Twitter user @ndrew_lawrence.)

Anonymoussays:

Re: Probably Not

that they were banning with the (mis-)understanding that they were removing an impostor account

But what about the imposter accounts’ right to free speech, Koby? Why should they be censored for their views?

So much for free speech, you hypocritical piece of shit, you. I knew you ‘conservative’ bumblefucks would buckle like belts once you assholes found something you didn’t like on your ‘freedom-friendly’ cesspool.

Eat crow dipshit.

James Burkhardtsays:

Re: Re: Re: Probably Not

impersonation does not invalidate that an opinion is being shared. Its still an opinion. No, you imply the opinions expressed are not genuine, which means its not about strict bright lines. For you moderation is okay based on your personal subjective opinion, and all your bullshit is just that.

Tanner Andrewssays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Probably Not

what opinions are being censored that are the strongest?

Strongest, in the sense of “that pig manure sure is strong”, in the sense pf the third formulationm below:

  1. "It is a crock of shit, and it stinks."
  2. "It is a crock of excrement and none may abide the odor thereof."
  3. "It is a container of excrement, and is very strong, such that none may abide before it."
  4. "It is a vessel of fertilizer and none may abide by its strength."
  5. "It containeth that which aids growth and it is very strong."
  6. "The powerful new Project will help promote the growth of the Laboratories."
JMTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Probably Not

"While there can be a fine line between parody and impersonation, those on the impersonation side do not, since it’s not a political opinion."

The impossibly stupid hits just keep coming from you. There is no "fine line" here, there’s a massive fuzzy overlap between parody, impersonation and political opinion. There are countless examples of all three occurring together.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Probably Not

So you think the Roof Koreans should not have been charged, Critical Race Theory is valid and good, global warming exists and Big Oil has to be forcibly destroyed, Ag gag laws are unconstitutional, and mayve, just maybe, people of color deserve human rights as per the UNHRC?

And here, I thought you or your FBI handler had at least three braincells to rub. Turns out even having one might be too much praise for you.

Unless you’d like to refute what I just said and start stating which opinions are the strongest. Because if I used you logic in Singapore, there’s a lot of strong opinions…

Anonymoussays:

Re: Probably Not

The question is whether it was an understandable mistake, or it was politically motivated.

The problem with that is when Twitter says it was a mistake, you will accuse them of lying and say it’s really politically motivated anyway, because you’ve already decided Twitter is bad regardless of what they say or do.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Probably Not

Of course the cherry on that dishonesty cake is that for all the cries of ‘political persecution’ and how Twitter and other social media platforms are politically motivated to take down certain content the likes of Koby are tellingly quiet on what the politics and political opinions that Twitter has such a problem with actually are.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

"It’s almost like… running a social media account with malicious actors are trying to abuse requires content moderation"

serene smile
Or like that time someone trained an AI to spot the nazi & it kept taking out Congress members?

How does one find the troll in a field of nazis?

They enjoy trying to outdo each other to begin with & the trolls just fit in… they might not be outrageous enough to be seen as trolls.

Then there is the mental glitch that could kill…
Stone spends his time thinking about "Human Cesspool" Bannon and "Abortion Smoothie" Miller getting it on… could he be jealous?

Have fun wiping up the coffee. ­čśÇ

That One Guysays:

'The problem can't be us so that's not it...'

I’m still waiting for Miller and his fans to realize that all of these challenges that Gettr is facing are no different than the ones that other social media apps faced — and that maybe all their earlier complaints of "censorship" were just as bullshit then as the claims about Gettr being censorial today are. I get the feeling that I’ll be waiting a long, long time for that recognition to set in.

The term you’re looking or is ‘forever’ because admitting and realizing that other sites are doing the same thing they are would require them to admit to themselves if not others that the reason they face moderation themselves is that they are the trolls/assholes to those other sites, and since that can’t possibly be the case clearly when they moderate it’s to deal with real bad-faith people whereas when other social media moderates them that’s just unjustified persecution.

Anonymoussays:

There are interesting differences in the mistakes caused by different moderation methods on display here.

Looks like Gettr moderators just put the person’s name into a search and started banning the "impostors" and oops that was the wrong one by accident sorry about that. Without keeping track of which account(s) had actually been complained about, that kind of human error is all but inevitable.

On the other hand, heavy reliance on automation makes mainstream platforms susceptible to the Scunthorpe problem. Inadequate human review allowing innocuous posts to be mistakenly blocked when some key word(s) trigger an algorithm.

Could there be a happy medium between the former’s seat-of-your pants turkey shoot and the latter’s mechanical indifference?

restless94110says:

Unenlightened

I really do not understand what is that you think there must be content moderation for.

You write snarky articles like this which are little more than "see, I told ya so" screeds.

Because after all, doncha know, you just have to censor free speech on the internet. Silly rabbit, free speech is for naive dolts.

Look at you. Content moderation is never ever ever good. Wake up.

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Unenlightened

I doubt hate speech is anywhere near the level you (as a group) say it is.

I?ve only seen it once or twice on sites I moderate. Though granted these are fairly specialised sites. Spam has always been the biggest issue I?ve seen.
And it?s very annoying to have to edit dozens of posts to remove html links in spam.
But I?ve scripted a method to make that much easier.

When it comes to hatred, as I?ve mentioned elsewhere I remove all letters except vowels. Makes for interesting garbage!
If your really persistent I?ll turn all your posts into ASCII image characters.
And I always retitle my editing ?here there be trolls?.

If I?m really bored I?ll make ascii art that?s borderline rude but not beyond R14 and it usually gets like/thumbs up.

Deleting trolls only makes them try harder. Fighting back makes for fun for the whole community!

Stephen T. Stonesays:

I doubt hate speech is anywhere near the level you (as a group) say it is.

You either can?t or don?t want to see it, then. You can find plenty of racism, misogyny, queerphobia, anti-Semitism, and all other kinds of ?hate speech? on social media??and not always from right-wing assholes.

When it comes to hatred, as I?ve mentioned elsewhere I remove all letters except vowels.

Weren?t you the one who said ?deletion is censorship?? Because I wonder how you square that logic with deleting parts of speech instead of the speech in full. Wouldn?t partial deletion be censorship??the kind of censorship you decry, you claim to hate, you say you?re opposed to seeing happen anywhere on the Internet?

Deleting trolls only makes them try harder.

That?s why services have this lovely little option called ?banning assholes?. You should look into it some time. You?re not legally forced to host the speech of assholes, so I don?t know why you?d ever put up with them??well, besides your holding a flawed belief in free speech absolutism that you?ve already compromised with partial deletion (?censorship?) of speech, anyway.

Lostinlodossays:

Re:

? on social media??
Could just be I don?t wonder I to the more general public. I?m not going around looking for things that offend me, or others.
And sites I mod are generally not likely to get political in the first place.
Given the number of tech sites on the interwebs the Ars and TechDirt style of political tech is rather rare.
And I have set rules right up front: no politics, no porn, no buying off site. Violate the rules I mangle your post. Make fun of you. Prop you up for the community to throw darts at. Etc.
Bad actors usually leave on their own quite quickly.
When everything you post becomes a e I o u y w or
01101001 01100001 01111001 (binary in vowels)?

If I see it as a user I flag it. As a mod i mangle it.

?Weren?t you the one who said ?deletion is censorship???
Yes. Deletion is. I consider this word art. Take something ugly and turn it into something funny.
A fine line maybe. But we all have our own opinions.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

I?m not going around looking for things that offend me, or others.

Neither do most people, but hate tends to find them instead. Or do you think racists are all waiting for orders from their leaders to start saying racial slurs? On social media, they?re sure as shit not doing that??and you can ask anyone who?s had to put up with racists in their mentions about that. Or you can keep your head in the sand and keep thinking that racism doesn?t exist if you can?t see/hear it directly.

sites I mod are generally not likely to get political in the first place

Irrelevant; hatred of all kinds doesn?t necessarily require political speech. Neither does spam, porn, and all other manner of bullshit speech.

Bad actors usually leave on their own quite quickly.

Uh-huh~. Sure they do~.

Deletion is. I consider this word art.

It isn?t. It?s deletion. You?re (partially) deleting third-party speech. Under your logic, you?re a censor??a thing you profess to hate, to despise, to want to fight with all the will you can muster.

How does it feel to be something you hate, Lostcause? How does it feel to be a fucking censor?

It shouldn?t feel good??if you were a censor, at any rate. But what you?re doing is moderation. So are people who boot bad-faith users from a platform or delete hateful speech or do anything else that prevents certain users/kinds of speech from being on that platform. It isn?t censorship, and you should fucking get that by now.

But hey, keep saying ?deletion is censorship? if you want. I?ll see how long you like being called a censor because you delete third-party speech. You fine with that, you censor?

Lostinlodossays:

Re:

? keep thinking that racism doesn?t exist?
Never said It didn?t. Only that it?s not systemic. It?s not something flowing through each and every person. Each and every law. Etc.
There are and always will be racists. And they exist in every race.

? You fine with that, you censor??
Yes.
But without a sandbox and without flagging? I?m, on some sites, forced to do what I must with the means I have to not offend the majority with the crap nonsense of the minority.

Post illegal shite and get reported to authorities and banned. Free speech stops at the law.

My preference has long been hiding and sandboxes.
Sometimes censorship is the only option.
When that is the case, I do what must be done.

Here?s the thing that makes me different from the big social media places. If it?s not illegal:
I give clear and concise warnings. What you did, what is wrong with that, which rule you broke and how.
I give three strikes, and they reset after 366 days.
If you break the rules you know exactly what rule your broke and how.
If a sand box exists you?re banished there for eternity.
If it doesn?t, you eventually, after three strikes, get ip banned.

If it?s Illegal it?s gone the moment I know it?s there and you?re permabanned. I still will detail why.

Does that mean I censor? Yes, ultimately, in the end, I will. And I hate that. But it?s necessary. And I don?t deny that.

You twist my point that if a better option than deleterious censorship exists it should be used.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Only that it?s not systemic. It?s not something flowing through each and every person. Each and every law.

An institution need not be crafted or upheld by racists/with racist intent for the institution to be racist. Hell, a racist institution need not even exist any more for its effects to still be felt??redlining, for instance, helped destroy paths to generational wealth for Black people long after its abolishment. (To wit: A 2018 study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition found that 74% of communities that were redlined in the 1930s are still ?low-to-moderate income? communities.)

Institutional (i.e., ?systemic?) racism exists as a force outside of individual interpersonal racism. Someone can uphold institutional racism without realizing it??without being an overt racist themselves. The whole point of studying institutional racism is to root out (and ultimately nullify) policies and laws and ?traditions? that prevent the progress of people of color. The walls exist even if you believe they don?t. But I?ll guess you?re too busy jerking yourself off about ?not seeing color? or some shit to notice or care.

Yes.

Cool to know, CensoringLodos.

without a sandbox and without flagging?

??I?m still moderating, but I?m also punching myself in the dick because I believe what I?m doing is censorship and censorship is evil.????you, probably

Free speech stops at the law.

No, free speech stops at the door. When someone enters your house, they don?t have the right to say whatever the fuck they want??because you can throw them out if they say something you don?t like. That ain?t censorship, except to free speech absolutists like you.

My preference has long been hiding and sandboxes.

Yes, yes, you want to host racist speech without saying you host racist speech. We get it.

Does that mean I censor?

Under normal everyday logic? No.

Under your ridiculous ?even the deletion of a single letter is censorship in any and every instance regardless of any and all circumstances? logic? Yes.

You twist my point that if a better option than deleterious [moderation] exists it should be used.

Except they?re not better options, unless you?re one of those ridiculous free speech absolutists.

You?re not legally, morally, or ethically bound to host speech that you don?t want on your service. Nobody can, will, or should be able to force you into hosting any kind of political propaganda for any movement, ideology, or group. Anyone who tells you otherwise can be told to fuck off.

But in your world, where you believe people have the absolute legal right to say what they want on any platform they want without anyone stopping them (or else it?s censorship), you honestly believe you?re obligated to host the legally protected speech of racists, misogynists, queerphobes, pedophiles, terrorists, and Limp Bizkit fans. You seriously believe not hosting it after it?s been posted is tantamount to silencing the person who posted it across all time and space. You sincerely believe that any attempt to prevent someone from speaking their mind on your privately owned property is the same thing as restraining them from speaking anywhere and everywhere else.

If this isn?t your belief system, you?ve done a shitty job of proving it. Every post where you talk about censorship says as much. Shit, several posters (including myself) have pointed out dozens of times how deletion and banning aren?t censorship and you still cling to the ridiculous ?but they ARE!? counter?argument? like it?s a goddamn security blanket. You?re seemingly trying to be a contrarian for the sake of it.

Your logic would dictate that any kind of moderation is censorship and you yourself would be a censor??the kind of role you don?t like seeing others take but seem almost giddy to take up yourself. It?s obvious you can live with that cognitive dissonance. The real question is how long you can live with it until it destroys you.

Have fun with that thought tonight, censor.

Lostinlodossays:

Re:

?not seeing color? or some shit?

Some of us just prefer to ignore race entirely. I consider that the best one can see. To reach equality race must be meaningless.

? I?m still moderating, but I?m also punching myself in the dick because I believe what I?m doing is censorship and censorship is evil.?
Despite every discussion on moderation my telling you I prefer moderation over censorious deletionism? I?ve never opposed moderation. I fully support it!

?No, free speech stops at the door. ?
Maybe at your door. Everyone at mine is free to speak their mind. Just be civil about it.

? Yes, yes, you want to host?
You have a serious issue with equating ?free speech? and racism.
Racial hate speech Ian the only controversial speech.
In fact you seem very preoccupied with racism to the point of only viewing existence in that colour.
I?m (honestly) sorry if some fuck has treated you poorly over your race/nationality.
But you need to move on past the ?coded? words and recognise that the vast majority of the world doesn?t use your happy conservative speech chart.

?Under your ridiculous ?even the deletion of a single letter is censorship?
There?s your fake nonsense again.
You really need to stop pretending I make comments I don?t. And after repeatedly stating I say what I mean, if I didn?t say it I didn?t say it. There?s no between the lines with me.
I choose to allow all voices to be heard within the confines of the site rules.

?You sincerely believe that any attempt to prevent someone from speaking their mind on your privately owned property is the same thing as restraining them from speaking anywhere and everywhere else.?
The only person who?s made that connection recently here is you
Again with your nonsense.

?deletion and banning aren?t censorship and you still cling to the ridiculous ?but they ARE!? ?
Incorrect!
My complaint has always been the lack of specific, unquestionable, reason for banning or deletion. That reason being supplied to the poster.

You (as a group) claim sites like Twitter are too big for such actions.
I say hire more people then.

I?ve never denied banning people myself.
But the banned will always know exactly why.
Use a hate term and I send you an email: ?You have a posting strike. strike, the term (actual term here) used in post number ##### is not acceptable on this site per rule #SP. Three strikes in a year will result in a permanent ban of your posting [/downloading/rss/etc] access.?

Post a violating image? ?Your image?

Post spam, I?ll remove off site links and we?ll all make fun of you and your product.

If a sandbox is available, that?s where you and all prior and future posts go. If not: bubye.

That acknowledges I am willing to censor as the last and final resort.

?Your logic would dictate that any kind of moderation is censorship ?
More bullshite.
If that were true I wouldn?t support flag/hide or sandboxing.

?Have fun with that thought tonight, censor.?
All day every day. I moderate within the rules of the sites I do so at.
Some are stricter than others
If I?m forced to delete you, You broke the law.
?
Or!
?
I hang my head in sorrow after doing so. You had three tries. 3 more tries than most major platforms offer.
But I sleep just fine knowing said User either wanted to be banned, or was too stupid to contribute.

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