Twitter has banned a Japanese man from its social media platform after he posted a death threat against a mosquito.
The Twitter user whose handle is @nemuismywife decided to take to the microblogging platform to express his disappointment after being bitten multiple times by a mosquito while watching TV. However, he seems to have taken things a bit too far when he made a casual death threat against the mosquito because the threat got his microblogging account frozen. The social platform’s algorithm for detecting inappropriate content must have selected various words and determined his tweet as an actual threat against a person.
“Where do you get off biting me all over while I’m just trying to relax and watch TV? Die! (Actually you’re already dead),” @nemuismywife tweeted.
The man even added a photo of the dead mosquito to accompany the tweet. Not so long after posting the tweet, the Japanese man received a message from the social media company saying that his account had been blocked and could not be reactivated. He then created a new twitter account under the handle @DaydreamMatcha, and used it to criticize the company’s decision to block his previous account for threatening to kill a mosquito.
The tweet he used to critique the company has since then received more than 27,000 like and has been retweeted more than 31,000 times. It has also led to a lot of ridicule on the company. Twitter has implemented various tools and measures to reduce harassment on its platform. There is a huge likelihood that the Japanese man’s tweet was flagged by an automated algorithm rather than a human moderator.
Fortune magazine had previously reported that Twitter had launched an algorithm that would flag abusive content on the platform by identifying offensive words. The recent incident involving the Japanese man and his death threat against a mosquito highlights the shortcomings of the company’s AI technology. Twitter will have to work towards improving the algorithm to make it smart enough to differentiate between tweets that contain legitimate threats and those that are merely making light of a situation. Twitter has so far not released any comments about the situation.