Data the dog: Twitter is turning its privacy policy into an old-fashioned video game | Twitter

On Friday, Elon Musk announced he was suspending his $45 billion Twitter buyout because he had just discovered some of the site’s accounts were fake.

But it’s not the weirdest thing to happen to the beleaguered social media platform this week. Because on Tuesday, the current top brass, perhaps trying to demonstrate their vision for the site, released a Super Nintendo-style browser game that recaps Twitter’s privacy policy.

The platform unveiled Twitter Data Dash, which plays like a vintage side-scroller platformer that’s been draped in a healthy dose of misinformation anxiety.

You take control of a blue-hued pup named Data and are tasked with collecting five hidden bones in each of the game’s Day-Glo city environments. (Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was the analog I kept coming back to during my gameplay.) After you complete your goal, the level ends and Twitter blesses you with a distilled talking point from its Ethics Committee. Example: Once I collected my first set of bones, a message popped up on the screen telling me that I could opt out of targeted ads from Twitter if I wanted to. The second time I was given instructions on how to screen my DMs.

the game image shows an underwater scene with a sunken ship and a message saying
Photography: Twitter

I get the instincts here. Everyone on the internet has been conditioned to blindly scroll through every terms of service agreement we come across, so the idea of ​​condensing some of the finer points into a chibi, interactive browser distraction makes utilitarian sense. After all, the company just rewrote its privacy policy and could definitely use some positive PR. But some of the game’s messages are contradictory. In the opening sequence, we’re told that Data wants to avoid all intrusive “cat ads” in his path. Sure enough, you’ll come across a few felines, wielding embossed feline propaganda, which Data must dodge to avoid taking damage. But how does this translate to the actual platform? Is Twitter telling me to scroll through all the ads I see on my timeline? Does he recognize that to participate on social networks, you have to constantly escape the algorithm?

“If Twitter really wanted to be accurate at this level, then you wouldn’t be running around freely in a city, dodging bad guys, and collecting bones of somewhat dubious origin,” tech site Gizmodo points out. “Instead, bad guys are inevitable, and not only will they actively pile on your poor pup Data and crush his tiny lungs, but you, the player, have to live with the knowledge that Data will continue to be choked long after he leaves. the game.

The biggest problem with Twitter Data Dash is that the game isn’t very fun. The controls are too floating: at the moment the jump button is mapped to the up arrow, and that’s just crazy. If we are going to gamify our private policies – if that is the nightmare we are going to have – then I demand Elden Ring precision. At this point, it’s the least Twitter can do.

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