On social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, the use of #hashtags is to create searchable posts. For example hashtagging “#BlackLivesMatter” allows users to create a group of posts that share the same tag, making it easier for other users to search for content on the vast networks.
However it seems that law enforcement has been using software to look out for such keywords as a means to monitor the activities of protesters/activists, something that Twitter doesn’t seem to be too happy about, which is why according to a report from the Daily Dot, the social network has basically cut off access to the API being used by monitoring software created by Media Sonar.
Prior to this, the Daily Dot reports that Twitter had also cut off access to other social media monitoring firms such as Geofeedia and Snaptrends. However in the case of Media Sonar, the company has been selling surveillance software to police departments across the US for the past few years.
Twitter also states that should the company attempt to create other API keys, Twitter will be terminating those as well and take “further action as appropriate”. This is because using Twitter’s data feed for spying and surveillance is considered a violation of the service’s developer agreement, as previously stated by the company.
Filed in. Read more about privacy and Twitter.