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Ex-Employee Claims Twitter Can Mistake Rocket Images As Intimate Content Due To Heavy Reliance On Machine Learning Tools

One ex-Twitter employee says the company under Elon Musk’s leadership can fail to differentiate between a rocket and intimate content. And that’s only because of the app’s heavy reliance on tools linked to machine learning.

The news was recently put forward in a leading report by Quartz. This particular confusion mentioned how a few Twitter accounts started to post about the rocket launch and ended up getting deleted or suspended from this app.

Quartz went ahead and interviewed one former employee of the company who chose to remain anonymous while disclosing his findings. That person is believed to have spent time on the app’s content moderation system. Speaking to the outlet recently, they mentioned how such tools started to misidentify proper images for explicit content. This might be linked to the number of skin-toned pixels being used.


It’s funny and bizarre and even alarming at the same time, we fell. How can anyone misidentify a rocket, the former employee revealed? And then saw the account on Twitter get suspended because the app’s tools confirmed that there is a 95% chance that a policy had been violated.

Moreover, seeing Twitter behave in this manner and rely less on the likes of human moderators means reducing the precision thresholds of such tools for machine learning. These are designed to differentiate sensitive content and stop flagging every single post that might come their way as inappropriate for viewing.

But the major limitation of doing this is the increase in error rates and wrong censorship, as explained by one former employee.

Elon Musk purchased the Twitter app in October of last year and since then, we’ve seen the firm lay off nearly 50% of its workforce. This entails more employees that were put in charge of content moderation located on the website.

Leading individuals from the likes of Spaceflight Now and Michael Baylor that launches more live streams for NASA were just a few big names that had been unable to access their accounts recently for this reason.

The app locked them out after they were witnessed setting out more content regarding the famous SpaceX launch that arose on Tuesday. This included the likes of John Kraus who was a spaceflight photographer.

He similarly expressed concern over his account suspension on Twitter after publishing video content of the famous Artemis 1 launch by NASA. Since the news went public, all four of the accounts were highlighted to be unlocked.

Read next: Hacker Forum Puts Out Data From 200 Million Twitter Users For Free

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