May 22, 2024

Twitter wants to make ‘abusive’ tweets disappear


Twitter has announced that it’s ramping up its efforts to stop online abuse by implementing new tools designed to banish trolls and make itself into a “safer place.”

The microblogging company will introduce measures designed to stop repeat offender users from making new accounts to troll people who have blocked them. It will also change its search function to get rid of “potentially sensitive” content from showing up in regular search results.

“While this type of content will be discoverable if you want to find it, it won’t clutter search results any longer,” the company’s post said.

Twitter hasn’t revealed exactly how it plans to implement either new function, or when users should expect to see them, but it couldn’t come at a more politically-charged time. Online abuse has been heavily publicized in the news over the past year, and Twitter has been increasingly cracking down on what it views as disagreeable material by banning users like self-styled provocateur and troll Milo Yiannopoulos.

Even with such steps, however, it has come under fire by people pushing for it to get rid of more offensive content, and particularly to help cut down on online abuse.

Last month, Twitter’s vice president of engineering, Ed Ho, said that this is a top priority for the company — and that users should expect changes sooner rather than later. “We’re thinking about progress in days and hours not weeks and months,” he said.

Whether this can do anything to stem Twitter’s vanishing user base remains to be seen, but it’s a move that will be welcomed by many.


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