These days, it has become so easy to predict Twitter’s next step; it is obvious that the microblogging company is working day and night to stamp out abuse from its platform. The company on Wednesday announced that it will start relying on algorithm to identify and restrict accounts suspected to have been engaged in “abusive behavior.”
Today’s announcement marks a slight shift from how Twitter had approached the issue of abuse on its platform. It’s not just a keyword policing as we thought it would be a couple of weeks ago; the new update will now take into account the relationships that exist between users when issues of abuse are being determined.
Explaining how the company plans to curb abuse with the new measure; Twitter’s VP of Engineering, Ed Ho said in a blog statement that:
“We’re working to identify accounts as they’re engaging in abusive behavior, even if this behavior hasn’t been reported to us. 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.”
Reassuring users of the company’s good intention to crackdown on accounts found guilty of violating its policy; Twitter said its job will be thorough. It however, admits that mistakes cannot be ruled out based on the fact that the tools are new and need some time to be worked and improved on.
New filtering options
To give you more control over what you see from certain accounts, Twitter has added a set of new filtering options for your notifications. You will now be able to apply filters to certain accounts, especially ones without profile photos, and unverified email addresses or phone numbers. The new filter options were rolled out today, and are now available to every Twitter user.
Twitter has also expanded the mute feature it introduced back in November to now include ability to mute certain phrases “from your home timeline and you can decide how long this content is muted – one day, one week, one month, or indefinitely.”
Going forward, Twitter says it will start updating users with regular information about accounts or tweets that have been reported to its support teams. The company said this is a part of ongoing efforts to carry everyone along and show some level of transparency.
“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. 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.”