Twitter is not giving up on putting trolls in their right place—the company’s latest effort will probably bury abusive content so that users will no longer see them. The microblogging company said it has developed a new system that will deal with “troll-like” behavior.
The latest effort from Twitter will effectively identify those users or accounts that usually disrupt public conversation on its platform, and subsequently have their content hidden.
Twitter’s new system will use signals such as accounts that have not been confirmed via email address or send heavy tweets to other accounts that currently do not follow them. According to the company, this method will help it to identify and demote disruptive content that appears in conversations and search results.
In an interview granted to the Press Association via the Daily Mail, Del Harvey Twitter’s vice president for trust and safety said:
The reason that we’re doing this is that when we actually looked at where abuse reports were coming from, the majority of reports come in from those two places – from conversations and search.
Harvey said the company has identified the two major places where abusive content originates from.
But what we’ve learned as we’ve dug into that a little bit more is that there were actually this tiny number of accounts – less than one per cent of accounts – that were making up the majority of reports that we were receiving for abuse.
Speaking further, he said:
Within that, some of those were breaking the rules and we take action on those, but there’s a lot that aren’t and within that grouping there is a number of accounts that are engaged in behaviors that really distort and detract from the experience that people have in those areas.
The company said most of the new signals it will deploy will not be visible to people. Such signals according to the company include, behaviors such as a user signing up for multiple accounts at the same time, or activity that the microblogging company says might indicate a planned coordinated attack on others.
We started thinking how could we use a lot of the systems that we’ve been improving and building up over the past couple of years to improve people’s experience really across the board, without putting the burden on the individual to do all the work to clean things up, said Harvey
Early tests conducted, according to Twitter was very successful as it showed a reduction in the number of abuse reports filed by users.
In our early testing in markets around the world, we’ve already seen this new approach have a positive impact, resulting in a 4% drop in abuse reports from search and 8% fewer abuse reports from conversations. That means fewer people are seeing Tweets that disrupt their experience on Twitter, the company said in a blog post.
Twitter’s new approach is still pretty much work in progress, and could take some time to get used to. However, it does show how much work is being put by the company to get things right.