Twitter banishes 'trolls' to the shadows

Twitter banishes 'trolls' to the shadows

The company has always been criticized for giving a platform to so-called "trolls", users that willfully harass others. The practice of limiting the visibility of content without formally suspending the content owner, notifying them, or deleting the content in question the definition of shadowbanning.

Now, Twitter is taking new steps to fight this disruptive behavior by implementing new tools for behavioral analysis. One of their employees was caught on camera admitting that accounts that post too much about "God, guns, and America" are likely to be classified as "bots", but there is no acknowledgment of that in Twitter's announcement.

While not saying whether there are key phrases or words that indicate comments to be hidden, Twitter has said it will use "signals" such as an account-holder having multiple accounts or not having verified their account via email.

Del Harvey, Twitter's vice-president of trust and safety, said that the new changes were based on research that found that most of the abuse reports on Twitter originate in search results or the conversations that take place in the responses to a single tweet.

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Twitter is changing up its policies with regards to nasty tweets - not by banning them or the users who created them, but by hiding them from view.

This has been an issue for so long it's a bit ridiculous, but it all has to do with the fact that Twitter really only arranges tweets by quality inside search results and in back-and-forth conversations. Because the content from users who are behaving badly may not necessarily violate Twitter's policies, it will stay on Twitter, and you'll still be able to see them by clicking on "Show more replies" or opting to see everything in search. What we're talking about today are troll-like behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation on Twitter, particularly in communal areas like conversations and search.

Within that, some of those were breaking the rules and we take action on those, but there's a lot that aren't and within that grouping there is a number of accounts that are engaged in behaviors that really distort and detract from the experience that people have in those areas.

Gasca said that early testing of Twitter's new efforts has shown some success, with a 4 percent decrease in abuse reports from search results and an 8 percent decrease in abuse reports from Twitter conversations. This technology and our team will learn over time and will make mistakes.

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