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We’ve written tales about individuals who have problem recognizing individuals who joke and quote motion pictures. Generally it ends ridiculously, just like the man who bought busted for quoting Combat Membership and needed to spend fairly a little bit of time convincing individuals it wasn’t. Actually trying to shoot an Apple retailer. We have additionally talked lots about not having the ability to average content material effectively at scale. This is a narrative the place the 2 collide (albeit in a funnier means).

Kel McClanahan is a well known nationwide safety/FOIA lawyer, and the opposite day on Twitter I used to be fortunate sufficient to have a dialog with Cary Elwes, the actor maybe finest identified for his function as Westley within the biggest film ever made. The princess Bride. Kel did what one does after having an argument like this, which was celebrate on Twitter.

As one does as soon as the dialogue turns to The Princess Bride, individuals begin citing the film, which stays one of the crucial quotable motion pictures of all time.

At one level within the dialog that adopted, Kel had the chance to deliver up a kind of quotable strains:

That is Kel saying “I am going to almost definitely kill you within the morning,” the traditional line (SPOILERS!) that Westley says the Dread Pirate Roberts informed him each night time.

Guess what occurred subsequent? Sure.

That is Twitter telling Kel that his tweet, quoting The Princess Bride, violated their insurance policies on “abuse and harassment” and asking him to delete it to get again on his account. Lastly, Twitter modified course and gave Kel his account again.

It is easy to chuckle at this (as a result of, effectively, it’s humorous). However it’s additionally a helpful lesson within the impossibility of content material moderation. In common, Within the absence of any context, “I am going to almost definitely kill you within the morning” may absolutely sound like a threatening assertion, which may very well be seen as abusive or harassing. In lots of situations, that assertion would do be abusive or harassing and would make customers of a social media platform really feel unwelcome and threatened.

However, in contextit is fairly clear it is a joke, a quote from a humorous film.

The issue is that a lot of content material moderation includes context. That is one thing that critics of content material moderation (each those that need extra and those that need much less) by no means appear to totally perceive. How does a content material moderator (both an AI or a human being) have sufficient context to deal with all types of issues like this? Do it’s good to practice your AI on traditional motion pictures? Do it’s good to be sure that everybody you rent has seen all the favored motion pictures and is aware of them by coronary heart and may acknowledge when somebody is quoting them?

How do you take care of a scenario the place somebody tries to cover behind the date, however it’s really threaten somebody? (Not what Kel did right here, however simply be aware, you may’t simply say “okay, drop this line if he is quoting a film.”)

The purpose is that it is ridiculously sophisticated.

Many individuals, particularly legislators and the media, appear to assume that content material moderation is a no brainer. You take away the dangerous issues and go away the great issues.

However a ridiculous quantity of content material moderation includes making an attempt to interpret statements the place they do not (or, extra usually, can’t) know the true context. Is the remark between mates a joke? Is the remark meant to be threatening? Is there a deeper which means behind this? Is it quoting a film? What if it is an inside joke between individuals?

These items are usually not straightforward as a result of there isn’t any straightforward reply.

And that features “doing nothing.” As a result of when you do nothing in any respect, you find yourself in a world the place the worst individuals on this planet settle for that to legitimately threaten and harass individuals.

That is why I preserve saying that content material moderation is not possible to get proper. It isn’t that individuals do not strive laborious sufficient. It is simply that it is actually not possible to totally perceive the entire context. And it is silly to count on that anybody can.

I requested Kel if he had any ideas on all of this, and right here is his tackle the entire thing:

I am baffled that Twitter AI suspended me for a remark it favored and responded to the supposed “menace” goal, however I suppose if I’ll go to Twitter jail for posting a quote from a film, one of the best ways when you do the identical goes for the OG film star within the thread.

Filed Beneath: Content material Moderation, Kel McClanahan, Masnick Impossibility Theorem, Relationship, The Princess Bride


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The Most Famous Blunder Of Content Moderation: Do NOT Quote The Princess Bride

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