Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Twitter accidentally suspended Devin Nunes' official account briefly when he failed to solve an anti-spam reCAPTCHA puzzle

 Twitter briefly suspended the official account for Republican Rep. Devin Nunes for about 30 minutes on Tuesday after he failed to solve a reCAPTCHA puzzle.

Nunes, whose personal account was not suspended, reportedly failed to get past the social media site's anti-spam filters and was suspended by Twitter's automated systems, Business Insider reported.

'Our automated systems took enforcement action on the account in error and it has since been reversed,' a Twitter spokesperson told the outlet.

'The enforcement action was taken as a result of the account's failure to complete an anti-spam challenge that we regularly deploy across the service,'

The official Twitter account for Devin Nunes, pictured, was reportedly suspended for about 30 minutes after he failed an anti-spam filter test

The official Twitter account for Devin Nunes, pictured, was reportedly suspended for about 30 minutes after he failed an anti-spam filter test

Twitter said that an automated systems took enforcement action on Nunes' account, pictured, and suspended it in error

 Twitter said that an automated systems took enforcement action on Nunes' account, pictured, and suspended it in error

Many websites, like Twitter, use reCAPTCHAs to verify that a user is human by having them solve puzzles that require users to click on certain images. 

Twitter users noted that it looks like the account has not tweeted since December 8, though data from a ProPublica tracking project indicates his tweets remain intact.

Critics were quick to joke about the temporary lockout.


'So in other words, Devin Nunes failed the Turing Test,' @snorkelsthepug joked, referring to the test used by computer scientists to determine if a machine has artificial intelligence capable of thinking on its own.

The account @DevinAlt, a fake account to troll the congressman, mocked Nunes' inability to solve the reCAPTCHA puzzle. 

'Dammit why do they have to make these so hard?' quipped the account, with an image of a reCAPTCHA puzzle with the solution 'First Amendment.'

Twitter users were quick to joke about the suspension after Devin Nunes reportedly failed the reCAPTCHA

Twitter users were quick to joke about the suspension after Devin Nunes reportedly failed the reCAPTCHA

Nunes sued Twitter for $250million after the account parody account @DevinCow claimed to be one of Nunes' cows at his family's dairy farm in Iowa.

The Republican said that Twitter was liable for the tweets, and claimed the parody tweets ruined his reputation.

Judicial circuit Judge John Marshall tossed out the case in June 2020.

Marshall cited Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law that protects internet publishers from being held liable for content published by third parties.

Section 230 has received its own recent criticism from both Republicans and Democrats as tech giants face concerns about biased decisions to kick people off social media platforms, including former President Donald Trump. 

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