While Twitter, the website, remains online and hasn’t just collapsed after the vast majority of workers under Elon Musk were fired or resigned, we’re already starting to see cracks in the walls spreading.
Last night, it became clear that Twitter’s automatic copyright strike/takedown system is no longer functional. A user went viral for uploading the entire video of Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift in two minute chunks in a 50 tweet thread. While offline this morning, here’s where things get even weirder:
- The media itself was never removed. Normally, you would see the message “This media cannot be displayed” during takedown. Tweets and accounts will be up, but media is stripped. In this case, it looks like someone at Twitter had to do it manually ENTIRE ACCOUNT SUSPENSION.
- And as evidence of another bug, right now, on mobile, I can still see tweets from a suspended account. Like, the movie is literally playing on a tweet that I’m watching on my phone right now, some lingering artifact of account suspension. I can’t see it on desktop, but the tweets I liked last night while writing this article this morning are still actively viewable.
And again, fundamentally the copyright system appears to be broken. Yes, this particular account was suspended, but only because it went viral and was seen by someone who works there, I think. A separate user has uploaded another full movie, 1995’s Hackers, two minutes at a time in the same thread, and it remains online at the time of writing:
It should be abundantly clear to anyone what kind of liability this opens Twitter up to if their copyright system is non-functional, and its newly limited pool of workers is required to manually hunt down infringers. Once the media companies realize this, we could see Twitter hit with all kinds of DMCA claims and potential legal issues if they don’t handle it quickly. I’m picturing Disney content starting to get uploaded here and it’s going nuclear.
Also, it should be noted that one of Elon Musk’s big ideas for Twitter Blue is to allow users to upload longer, 40+ minute videos. It would be a nightmare if they couldn’t fix their copyright enforcement system, but it’s not clear that there is anyone working on the issue in any meaningful capacity other than to suspend the Tokyo Draft account.
One play a day on Twitter these days, with no sign of slowing down.
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