Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Twitter to implement changes meant to crack down on trolls

Twitter to implement changes meant to crack down on trolls

The company will hide certain replies from conversations and search results in a bid to "improve the health of the conversation" on Twitter.

Twitter announced Tuesday that it will vamp up its efforts to cleanse its platform by making it harder to view tweets that seemingly don't contribute to the conversation. This is, however, a very 2014 way to look at content moderation and I think it's grown pretty apparent as of late that Twitter needs to lean on its algorithmic intelligence to solve this rather than putting the burden entirely on users hitting the report button.

In a blog post, the company explains: "We're tackling issues of behaviours that distort and detract from the public conversation in those areas by integrating new behavioural signals into how tweets are presented". In other words, it's high time to confirm your email address on Twitter if you haven't yet.

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The Twitter executives said that less than 1pc of accounts make up the majority of accounts reported for abuse, but that a lot of what's reported does not violate the company's rules. The content itself will remain on Twitter but will only be shown if people click on "show more replies" or choose to see everything in their searches. "While still a small overall number, these accounts have a disproportionately large - and negative - impact on people's experience on Twitter", the company continued. "The challenge for us has been how can we proactively address these disruptive behaviours that do not violate our policies but negatively impact the health of the conversation?"

"There are many new signals we're taking in, most of which are not visible externally". Some of these accounts and Tweets violate our policies, and, in those cases, we take action on them.

The move is part of Twitter's attempts to improve what it describes as the health of public conversation on its platform.

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For Twitter, this means utilizing an amalgamation of code-based rules, human reviews, and machine learning-which will all help organize and present content to the user in a purportedly healthier way, in areas such as search and conversation.

Still, Twitter's discourse is often colored by such tweets, and banning the people involved seems like a good way to open the platform to cries of censorship (well, more open than it is already).

Now the company is taking steps to mute posts that don't facilitate healthy conversation.

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