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Twitter buys “trust and safety” startup, shuts it down, leaves customers stranded

Twitter buys “trust and safety” startup, shuts it down, leaves customers stranded
[Photo: pixelcreaturesPixabay]

Yesterday, news broke that Twitter had snapped up the online trust and safety startup Smyte, to help address its own online harassment issues, which sounded like great news. Smyte uses a combination of machine learning and human moderators to identify and categorize online interactions, helping monitor things like spam, fraud, and harassment.

Then came news of Twitter’s decision to immediately shut down access to Smyte’s API, the Application Programming Interface that allows customers to interact and use the service. There was reportedly very little warning to customers, TechCrunch reports, so Smyte’s customers, which include TaskRabbit, GoFundMe, ZenDesk, and Indiegogo, had no time to find a new way to prevent online harassment and spam. So basically they’re like Twitter for now.

We have reached out to Twitter for comment and will update if we hear back.

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