After mass resignations, Twitter's copyright strike system is down

As users are uploading entire movies in threads, it is movie time on Twitter.
Ameya Paleja

Social media users on Twitter can now upload entire movies in threads as the company's automated copyright enforcement/ takedown system no longer seems to be functional, Forbes reported on Sunday.

A user uploaded the 2006 movie, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift in two-minute video clippings spread out in a thread of 49 tweets, which when viral on the platform. It wasn't a one-off event that somehow just got through. Another user uploaded the movie Hackers in a similarly long thread on Saturday, which even got 14,000 likes, Business Insider reported.

As news of this new gap in the system spread, more content ranging from Need for Speed movies and Japanese superhero films, Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Forever surfaced as Twitter threads.

What does Twitter do for copyrighted content?

According to Twitter's copyright policy, the social media site marks copyright content as withheld and removes or restricts access to the material if it is reported. In the pre-Musk era, the social media site would monitor the smallest of infringements ranging from using images as profile or header photos or even links to materials that might infringe on a copyright.

However, as the weekend progressed and more infringing content appeared online, Twitter's system did not respond to any content, signaling that the system monitoring such content might be broken.

Instead, the account that uploaded the content was manually suspended, Forbes said in its report. However, the content was never taken down. Additionally, it also appears that though the content was not available on the desktop, the tweets were still visible on the mobile app.

Interestingly, it is not just news reports sending users looking for such content. A user tweeted how they came across the content in the first place.

The impact of layoffs?

Last week, Interesting Engineering reported that hundreds of employees had walked out of Twitter offices, refusing to sign up for Elon Musk's hardcore work ethic. Musk, who had earlier struck down the workforce by half and had sent the company into organizational chaos, was looking to restructure the remaining workforce when many employees quit.

Even as offices are expected to reopen today, former employees at the social media company expected the services to fall apart since entire teams have been let go or have severely shrunken in size and capacity. According to insiders, big-ticket events like the football World Cup severely strain Twitter's services, and the likelihood of a service crash appears to be high.

As Forbes said in its report, the appearance and continued availability of copyrighted content on the platform open Twitter up to liabilities, piling up legal issues. A company like Disney might even go ballistic on Twitter for non-performance of its duties. What seems problematic is that Twitter is now severely short-staffed, and the organization does not seem to have a plan to handle a crisis when and if it arrives.

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