Twitter announces more steps to combat abuse and hate

Twitter unveils new steps to counter hate speech and abuse

In November, Twitter introduced a trio of features meant to combat abuse, hate speech, and trolling - a mute filter, muted conversation threads, and new user report infrastructure. Twitter emphasized their commitment to freedom of expression and highlighted the effect that abusive tweets can have in silencing the voices of people with a particular opinion. The social media behemoth announced this morning that they will cease creation of new abusive accounts, introduce safer search results, and collapse conceivably abusive or low-quality tweets.

The social network will also ban users that have been suspended from creating new accounts (bad luck, Milo), noting that these people typically take to the website just to be abusive and cause a scene. The tweets will still exist on the user's timeline or are linked to but they won't appear in general search results.

Twitter is also singling out and collapsing potentially abusive and "low-quality" replies so only the most relevant conversations surface. You'll still be able to see the tweets if you tap on the "show less relevant replies" tag.

Twitter is launching new safety features to make it easier for users to avoid trolls.

This has been a consistent issue and weakness for Twitter, as new accounts keep popping up and continuing the abuse right where the blocked ones left off. Twitter has been trying to fight this alarming trend, but previous efforts to address it proved to be insufficient.




Twitter has introduced a new safer search.

It will also remove Tweets from blocked and muted accounts from search results. "Why I'm leaving Twitter" tweetstorms have become the new "why I'm leaving New York" essays. Unlike Facebook, Twitter users do not have to use their real names - and in some instances that anonymity has given a rise to racist, sexist and anti-Semitic speech and specific threats to some users.

Ho says that these changes, and other like them, will be rolling out in the days and weeks ahead, but not all of them may be as visible.

Meanwhile, the company is taking steps to identify and stop past abusers from creating new accounts. Since Twitter is a platform where people can speak anonymously if they want to, they often spew hatred.

The move to permanantly ban repeat offenders would go a long way toward making Twitter a better place. He concludes by saying that Twitter will be listening to user feedback to help the company can "learn faster, build smarter, and make meaningful progress".

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