Outcry as Twitter blocks ‘bisexual’ searches.
For a social media platform struggling to remain relevant, Twitter sure is raising some ire among users and critics alike. First, the company has a long history of ignoring threats of violence and accounts that explicitly violate its terms, despite vocal outcry and screenshots of racism, homophobia, pro-Nazi sentiment, and more. Recently, the company went so far as to suspend Rose McGowan’s account following her allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, allegedly for posting someone’s phone number in a tweet.
The victims of the GamerGate saga were non-plussed, to say the least, considering their personal information and even physical locations were doxxed and shared via the platform.
Now, however, Twitter has finally stepped up and taken action: against bisexual people. As of Sunday afternoon US time, searches for the hashtag #bisexual produced “no results” under the news, video, and photos tabs of the site. Accounts that used the term are still operable, as are tweets with the embedded hashtag, but simply conducting a Twitter search under those tabs produces literally no search results.
As Gizmodo discovered, it was not a matter of filtering content: “Modifying search settings to not filter adult content did not impact whether the terms begun returning results, regardless of whether the search is set to scan any user, anywhere, and in all languages. Some users reported the words ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ were also not returning results, though both of those terms worked in a test by Gizmodo early Sunday afternoon.”
This finding comes after Twitter released new terms and conditions on November 3rd for what it considers allowable content. The erasure of an entire demographic of users might not be in the company’s best interests at a time when social media as a whole is under intense scrutiny for political and bigoted activity.
Last week, a rogue Twitter employee on the way out decided to do the world a favor and delete Donald Trump’s account, although the company reinstated it only minutes after the gift was discovered. Critics have literally begged Twitter to suspend or delete the account for the multitude of ways it has violated the company’s terms–and the US Constitution–lest the country be thrown into more and more political turmoil.