I get really excited anytime Twitter makes a new move to curb abuse on its network. My fear, however, is, will the microblogging company ever get it right when it comes to making its network a safe place for all? According to BuzzFeed, Twitter is rolling out a “time out” feature that will restrict abusive accounts.
If you haven’t felt this new measure yet, that’s because your account doesn’t fall within the category. According to the report, some affected users have started posting series of tweets claiming restrictions. Affected accounts posted screenshots of the emails they got from Twitter, including the same language.
Users whose accounts have been identified as engaging in harassment or abusive behavior will have their ability to reach out to wider audience temporarily restricted by the microblogging company. While the restriction lasts, only followers of such accounts will be able to access their [affected accounts] tweets.
In one of the screenshots posted by one of those affected by the latest move, Twitter said:
“Creating a safer environment for people to freely express themselves is critical to the Twitter community, so if behavior that may violate the Twitter Rules is corrected, certain account features become limited. We ‘ve detected some potentially abusive behavior from your account, so only your followers can see your activity on Twitter for the amount of time shown below. Your account will be restored to full functionality in…”
The problem with a measure like this is, some users will probably view this as an effort aimed at quashing free speech. However, Twitter defended its action as one based on user-behavior rather than just restricting a user account on the basis of some abusive words. It will be difficult for anyone to reasonably argue against this move, but the truth is that such move is bound to generate controversies.
Earlier this month, Twitter rolled out three new measures to curb harassment on its platform. The move highlights the company’s determination to see that everyone on its network is protected.
Twitter said when it announced the three new measures that it would ban anyone involved in posting abusive tweets from creating new accounts. It also added a new “safe search” feature; all in a bid to make the website safe for all users. The three new changes, according to Twitter, will be focused on “abuse and harassment.”
The “safe search” feature will get rid of potentially sensitive content and tweets from blocked and muted accounts from search results. While the tweets will be available on the microblogging website when people search for them, they will not appear in general search results. What this means is that not every reply will be visible as the company said only the relevant tweets will be visible for you to see.
In a statement announcing all three measures, Twitter said:
“In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to roll out product changes – some changes will be visible and some less so – and will update you on progress every step of the way. 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.”