Twitter is Testing an Anti-Harassment Feature
Twitter has had a problem with hate speech and terrorism on the website for a while now. Finally, they are taking measures to address this.
Twitter is often found in the crossfire between promoting free speech and being criticized for not doing enough to protect its users against online abuse. That being said, the site isn’t a safe haven for trolls, abusers, and bullies. Their team actively deletes accounts that endorse hate speech, racism, xenophobia, and terrorism. In 2016, Twitter says they blocked 360,000 users due to hate speech. That number is impressive, but their methods could be more efficient. Up until now, the site was investigating serial online abusers on a case-by-case basis. Many users considered this approach ineffective and time-consuming, because it likely couldn’t keep up with the sheer volume of accounts.
Recently, the team at Twitter announced a trio of features meant to discourage harassment on their social media site. Twitter’s aim isn’t to crush expressions of free speech. Their goals are to remove repeat offenders (who routinely harass other users) and hide questionable tweets. If Twitter’s plans are successful, you can expect to see a more user-friendly version of the popular site. The following will tell you about the three anti-harassment features Twitter is currently working on.
- Cracking Down on New, Abusive Accounts
Twitter says they’re working hard to identify users who create accounts with the goal of harassing, bullying, and abusing others. These people are often repeat offenders, who have been permanently banned from the site. This new policy is meant to keep these individuals from creating new accounts, which allows Twitter to better track and prevent future abuse from happening in their online community.
- Adding Safer Search Features
While it’s still in the works, Twitter is creating a feature to filter a user’s search results. “Not safe for work” (NSFW), hate speech, and abusive content will no longer appear, including tweets from accounts that have been muted or suspended. Most of these questionable tweets won’t be deleted off of Twitter, though — if you go digging, you’ll likely still be able to find them.
- Hiding Harassing and Low-Quality Tweets
Soon, Twitter will have a feature to collapse tweets that are considered “low-quality” or harassing. Since the site is also a host for productive, fruitful discussion, its loyal users can opt to only see the high-quality tweets, making it easier for them to participate in the conversation. If you want to read what the trolls are saying, you can simply click a “show less relevant replies” button to see everything. Finally, you can automatically mute accounts where the user has the default “egg” profile picture, or where they haven’t confirmed their email address and phone number.