Talk about creepy.
How comforting is it to know that Twitter views your private messages and uses the information to create a “virtual profile” of you, which is then sold to advertisers.
That’s the case, according to James O’Keefe’s investigative journalist group Project Veritas, which shared an undercover video of four Twitter software engineers talking about how the social networking service analyzes users’ personal information.
An analysis that includes browsing through hundreds of obscene pictures and direct messages.
“There’s teams dedicated to it. I mean, we’re talking, we’re talking three or four… at least, three or four hundred people,” Twitter software engineer Clay Haynes is heard saying on the video.
And to be clear, he admits that he has done this.
“Yes, they’re paid to look at d*ck pics,” he said. “I’ve seen way more penises than I’ve ever wanted to see in my life.”
Haynes, who said he looks at all reported tweets, agreed that “this sounds horrible,” but added the he’s glad “it’s just d*cks, it’s just blow job pictures, it’s just that type of stuff.”
It’s certainly enough to give one pause over what they share online, should they be so risqué.
Pranay Singh, a Direct Messaging Engineer for Twitter, all but bragged about how he has all your private information.
“Everything you send is stored on my server,” Singh boasted in a meeting with Project Veritas on January 5, 2018.
“[A]ll your sex messages and you, like, d*ck pics are on my server now,” he added. “All your illegitimate wives and, like, all the girls you’ve been f*cking around with, they’re are on my server now… I’m going to send it to your wife, she’s going use it in your divorce.”
We can be sure the threat was made in jest. Maybe.
Singh noted the things you post on Twitter, to include photographs, “never go away,” explaining that “even after you send them, people are like analyzing them, to see what you are interested in, to see what you are talking about.”
“And they sell that data.”
While users may think Twitter is free, Twitter software expert Mihai Florea explained that’s not really the case.
“To actually charge the advertisers the money we have to prove it was you,” he said. “And that’s why using email address, or like a cookie or something that can track you. You’re paying for the right to use our website with your data basically.”
A policy that Haynes expressed discomfort over in a second meeting.
“It is a creepy Big Brother. It’s like a level… I don’t want to say it freaks me out, but it disturbs me,” he said.
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