Twitter tightens troll tamping – yet again – with even greater precision and speed for those who suffer abuse on the platform.
In what’s become a series of measures, each one aimed at further reducing harassment, everyone’s favorite micro-blog will be rolling out more tools to use its own technology, respond faster to complaints while also further empowering the Twitterati to combat trolls on their own.
“We’re working to identify accounts as they’re engaging in abusive behavior, even if this behavior hasn’t been reported to us,” Twitter announced March 1. “Then, we’re taking action by limiting certain account functionality for a set amount of time, such as allowing only their followers to see their Tweets.
“For example, this change could come into effect if an account is repeatedly Tweeting without solicitation at non-followers or engaging in patterns of abusive behavior that is in violation of the Twitter Rules. Our platform supports the freedom to share any viewpoint, but if an account continues to repeatedly violate the Twitter Rules, we will consider taking further action.”
Twitter promises to take pro-active measures only toward accounts which its algorithms suggest are being abusive.
In a second phase, Twitter will expand filtering options for users, which it began in November. The big deal is users will be able to filter out – not even see in notifications or timeline – “egg” accounts (those with no profile photo) or accounts which Twitter cannot verify through phone numbers or legitimate email accounts. In other words – and if users choose – no more Twitter eggs. Abuse victims or not, we think all Twitter users will appreciate this long-overdue step.
Our Latest Update on Safety https://t.co/tIPi0Gkwn2
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) March 1, 2017
The Twitterati – abuse victims and all others – will also be able to mute words for specific periods of time.
“Now, you’ll be able to mute from your home timeline and you can decide how long this content is muted – one day, one week, one month, or indefinitely,” explained Ed Ho, Twitter’s vice-president of engineering. “This was another big request from you and we’re looking forward to rolling it out.”
Finally, Twitter promises to be more responsive, quicker to individual complaints and reports of abuse.
“You’ll start to hear more from us about accounts or Tweets that you’ve reported to our support teams – both when you report harassment directed at you or another account,” Ho promised. “You will be notified when we’ve received your report and informed if we take further action. This will all be visible in your notifications tab on our app.”
Twitter has been actively trying to curtail trolls and abuse for almost two years now. The problem still hasn’t bee completely eliminated.
It introduced rules against hate speech in late 2015 and in April 2015 announced it would start shutting down the accounts of abusers. Twitter set up a safety center last July.
You can follow @TwitterSafety to get the latest updates and participate in the effort to curb trolls and end abuse.
We heard your feedback – this was a misstep. We’re rolling back the change and we’ll keep listening. https://t.co/9ozPS4XlVI
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) February 13, 2017