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TWITTERGATE

Photo by Ally McGivney

Photo by Ally McGivney

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In 2018, Twitter is in the news every once in a while for controversial posts on President Donald Trump’s account. Whether you like them or not, it’s impossible to deny that they cause a lot of controversy across all forms of media. This time, however, the social media platform is making headlines for something else: tweetdecking.

 

According to Yahoo, tweetdecking is “the process of amplifying stolen content to make it go viral,”  but in short, it is pretty much plagiarism. Many large accounts looking to make money form groups called decks, in which people pay to have their content retweeted or liked by these accounts. The problem is, these same accounts often steal tweets from small accounts without giving them credit, therefore gaining popularity rom the work of others.

 

The process of tweetdecking violates Twitter’s rules, which state that it is considered spam to “sell, purchase, or attempt to artificially inflate account interaction.” While stealing content isn’t a new concept, Twitter is finally taking action against accounts like @Dory by suspending them.

 

Watermarking work has recently become an online trend to counter the sharp rise of stolen content. Oftentimes, accounts  posting memes, or other humorous images, will superimpose their username on the image so they will get credit if their image is posted on other accounts. However, these watermarks can often be cropped out or replaced. Furthermore, since many Twitter posts are typed, someone could view the post and type something extremely similar on their own account.

 

The Twitter community has mixed opinions on the issue. Large accounts rely on this platform as a source of income, and they are now having that opportunity taken away from them. At the same time, Twitter enforcing their policies and taking action through suspension gives small accounts who don’t plagiarize a sense of security from their tweets being stolen.

 

With 21st Century plagiarism as easy as simply hitting copy and paste, it’s incredibly difficult to avoid it on social media with the millions of accounts out of the spotlight. Since policies regarding spam and stealing content are now enforced, this marks a big step towards change in the Twitter community.

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