Social Media

Twitter adds new anti-troll features, will they help?

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(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter admits to sucking at dealing with trolls, adds new layers of features that could put a dent in troll behavior. Maybe.

Twitter admits suckage

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo knows where Twitter stands on user safety: “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” he wrote to an employee – and thanks to The Verge, we’ve all seen the note.

Here’s the twist: Costolo made that statement two years ago, and until very recently, Twitter’s process for reporting and blocking abuse remained clunky and largely unchanged.

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But apparently, Twitter is and has been listening closely to users as it revamps its user safety policies and tools. Because it’s so flagrantly violated every day, Twitter’s Hateful Conduct Policy is worth repeating in full:

“You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.”

Muting, reporting already exist

Last November, Twitter enabled the “mute” feature for notifications – users can now mute “key words, phrases, and even entire conversations” instead of just accounts. They also rolled out more direct and widespread abuse reporting – you can report any tweet in violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service, even if it doesn’t mention you.

For good measure, Twitter also retrained its support teams, “including special sessions on cultural and historical contextualization of hateful conduct.”Click To Tweet

The social media platform kept the ball rolling when just last week, @TwitterSafety issued the following update: “We heard your feedback. You can now report Tweets that mention you, even if the author has blocked you.”

A new trifecta of changes

And now, the social media giant issued a trifecta of changes designed to curb trolls and improve overall user safety. According to their “Update on Safety,” here are the three new features:

First, something most users won’t even notice: Twitter is targeting trolls before they get a change to drag their knuckles or swing their clubs. This involves “taking steps to identify people who have been permanently suspended and [stopping] them from creating new accounts.”

Second, something that should have been a thing a long time ago: a safe search option. When you opt-in, blocked and muted accounts won’t show up, but if you really want to check out what the grunters have to say, a regular search will find them as usual.

Finally, Twitter will now automatically collapse “potentially abusive and low-quality replies so that the most relevant conversations are brought forward.” That means no more troll-scrolling.

Thank you, Twitter.

#TwitterTrolls

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