Last July, Twitter announced to everyone that cared to listen that its efforts to stamp out trolls and abusive tweets on its platform had largely been successful. The last few years had seen the microblogging website wage war by way of rolling out various tools to that effect. At different times, the company suspended thousands of accounts related to trolls and terrorism—and it’s safe to say those efforts yielded some positive results.
Moving forward, Twitter has once again announced to the world that it’s making sweeping changes to its rules. To this end, the microblogging platform is amending its existing rules to wage a stricter war on hateful and abusive tweets, reports TechCrunch.
In a statement made available to TechCrunch, Twitter said:
“Although we planned on sharing these updates later this week, we hope our approach and upcoming changes, as well as our collaboration with the Trust and Safety Council, show how seriously we are rethinking our rules and how quickly we’re moving to update our policies and how we enforce them.”
In an email it sent to members of its Trust and Safety Council, Twitter’s head of safety policy explained the company’s policy as regards dealing with trolls. So, what’s Twitter doing differently this time around that it had not done or tried to do in the past in terms of dealing with abusive tweets? Going forward, hateful symbols and hateful imagery among others will now be regarded as sensitive media.
The company “will take enforcement action against organizations that use/have historically used violence as a means to advance their cause,” Twitter adds in the email per TechCrunch. What is not clear at this time, is how Twitter wants to determine what represents a violation of its rules per hateful symbols and hateful imagery.
However, the company did explain in the email to the Trust and Safety Council that it would count on previous behaviors of users to make the implementation of its rules successful:
“We are going to update the Twitter Rules to make it clear that this type of behavior is unacceptable. We will continue taking enforcement action when we receive a report from someone directly involved in the conversation. Once our improvements to bystander reporting go live, we will also leverage past interaction signals (eg things like block, mute, etc) to help determine whether something may be unwanted and action the content accordingly.”
Just last month, Twitter said it has so far suspended 300,000 accounts suspected of having links to terrorism. This is not the company’s first effort at making its platform free from trolls as the microblogging website intensifies effort to purge its service, and make it a safe place for all.
Twitter is believed to be under intense pressure from governments and activists around the world who want the microblogging company to do more in terms of purging its platform. Twitter, according Bloomberg, is improving its automation tools to help block accounts that promote extremism and violence.