Twitter’s Broken Its Copyright Strike System, Users Are Uploading Full Movies

Twitter is still online, even though the majority of its workers have been fired, or resigned, but we can already see cracks in the walls.

It became apparent Sunday night that Twitter’s automated copyright strike/takedown system was no longer functional. The entire of the tweet was uploaded by a user who went viral. The Fast and Furious Tokyo Diving Two minute segments over a fifty-tweet thread. While it’s offline this morning, here’s where things get weirder still:

  • Media itself wasn’t taken down. Usually, you used to see a “this media cannot be displayed” message when a takedown happens. Although the account and tweet will remain up, media content is removed. It appears that someone from Twitter manually created this tweet. suspend the entire account.
  • As evidence that there is a bug in the system, the account suspended tweets can be seen on my mobile device right now. It is like the movie is playing on my phone. This could be a remnant of account suspension. I can’t see it on desktop, but the tweets I favorited last night to write this article this morning are still actively viewable.

Yet again, the fundamental copyright system It seems broken. Yes, that account was deleted. But it was discovered by someone who worked there. A separate user has uploaded another full movie, 1995’s HackersYou can do this for two minutes in the same thread. It is still online as of today.

Anyone should know what liability Twitter is exposed to if the copyright system fails to function properly. Twitter’s newly reduced workforce will need to manually search for infringers. Once media companies get wind of this, we could see Twitter hit with all sort of DMCA claims and potential legal issues if they can’t get a handle on this quickly. I’m picturing Disney content starting to be uploaded here and them going nuclear.

Also, it should be noted that one of Elon Musk’s big ideas for Twitter Blue is to allow users to upload long, 40+ minute videos. That would be a nightmare if they can’t fix their copyright enforcement system, but it’s not clear that anyone there is working on this issue in any meaningful capacity barring suspending that one specific Tokyo Drift account.

Twitter is a drama-filled place these days. There are no signs that Twitter will slow down.

Update (11/21) The exact same situation appears to have been repeated a day later. Twitter had to manually search for and suspend the accounts in order to prevent any automated copyright takingdown systems from working.

The Hackers account that was mentioned in the article has been removed. However, it is possible to find another movie online in less than two seconds: Need for Speed. This full movie has been available online for over two days.

Additional reports also indicated that World Cup games were being displayed on Twitter. This seems to be forcing Twitter, again, to manually track down and suspend these people, rather than relying on an automated system.

If there’s anything Twitter is likely going to want to get a handle on as a priority above other issues (including rolling out Twitter Blue, which Elon says is due out at the end of the week) it’s something like this, which could result in some serious issues from them if it’s not taken care of. Twitter has not yet commented on this issue because it doesn’t appear they have a communications department to even address potential problems like this anymore. Twitter Support, the 7.1 million follower account, has not tweeted since November 15 when it was “looking into” issues about people not getting 2FA code requests, another ultra-serious issue. That was before another quarter of the staff resigned after Elon’s “click yes to remain loyal” demand last week, so it’s unclear who is operating that account now, and who is working on solving these problems.

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