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Twitter is forced to disable the autocomplete function

Some time ago I thought how rare was the month in which Twitter , Facebook or some other social network did not suffer some notable failure . I’m not talking about things like a specific drop in service or the like, something that is understandable given the technical complexity of the entire infrastructure on which your service is based. No, I am referring to failures that affect the user experience, privacy and security, in short, those that usually give people something to talk about, you know what I mean.

The fact is that I remember having reflected on it and having come to the conclusion that perhaps I was exceeding myself, that I was being too critical and that social networks do not work so badly, based on their failures, as could be deduced from my reflection. … oh, now I see how innocent and well-intentioned I was at that time. One bug a month? More like a failure a week , to the point that what has become news is that for a week all social networks work well.

The rate of failures has grown substantially since the main social networks, Facebook and Twitter, have seen how their parent companies have undertaken massive layoffs , cutting, among other things, the engineering teams, that is, those responsible for the code that makes these networks work. We are talking about a gigantic code base that, of course, needs constant maintenance, and the need for those responsible (who are the ones who know it best) to know how to act immediately in the event of any failure.

I’ve lost count of the number of Twitter bugs we’ve heard about over the past few months, and now the list is adding one more. As we can read in Business Insider , Twitter has had to disable search autocompletion after displaying inappropriate results . It seems that this problem has been occurring for the last few weeks, leaving some of the people who have experienced it with a very bad taste in their mouths.

If you’re a Twitter user, you’ll know that when you start typing in the search box, it automatically suggests possible ways to complete what you were typing. This function is very common, for years, in a huge number of web pages. The problem is that, until now, the type of suggestion was filtered, omitting those that may be inappropriate , such as violent content. Specifically, according to said news, the search engine had begun to show content such as animal abuse and images of mass shootings.

It is one thing for Twitter to allow (or not) to publish, for example, images or a video in which someone mistreats an animal to the point of killing it, but quite another for any user to start typing the word in the search engine “cat” and autocomplete suggest content like “cat in a blender” . Thus, once again, we have an example of the way in which the massive layoffs at Twitter have had a very negative impact on the functioning of the social network.


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