Twitter details new safety features that aim to stop trolls, harassment and abuse

Twitter app on a phone - Twitter details new safety features that aim stop trolls harassment abuse

After finally promising to tackle abuse on its platform in a meaningful way, Twitter has announced what the company says are just its first steps towards making its platform safer for everyone.

To start, Twitter has outlined three product and policy changes it plans to implement in the coming days and weeks. Specifically, the San Francisco-based company says it will stop the creation of abusive accounts, introduce a new ‘safe search’ feature and create an algorithm that hides abusive and low-quality replies from users’ timelines.

On the first point, Twitter is short on specifics as to how it plans to prevent frequent trolls from creating new accounts. The company merely says, “We’re taking steps to identify people who have been permanently suspended and stop them from creating new accounts.”

On the latter two points, however, Twitter is more specific. The company’s new ‘safe search’ feature will remove tweets that contain potentially sensitive content, as well as ones that originate from blocked and muted accounts. Twitter notes users will still be able to seek out this content if they so desire, but it won’t clutter their search results anymore.

On the last point, the company says it will group “low-quality” tweets in a separate section of the platform’s conversation view. Twitter did not detail how the platform will differentiate low quality and abusive tweets from ones that are relevant to users. As with the safe search feature, users are still able to browse these tweets.

“With every change, we’ll learn, iterate, and continue to move at this speed until we’ve made a significant impact that people can feel,” said Ed Ho, the company’s vice president of engineering, in the blog post announcing the changes.

All three changes will roll out to Twitter’s web client and native mobile apps in the coming weeks, according to the company.

“We’re continuing to bring new features to Twitter that will make it a better and safer experience for Canadians and anyone else on the platform,” says Jennifer Hollett, Head of News and Government for Twitter Canada in a statement to MobileSyrup. “We want to ensure that not only is the best content on Twitter easy to find, we also don’t want potentially abusive content taking away from the conversation. These new updates will help in these areas.”

Source: Twitter