Sunday, 12 February 2017

Twitter attempts to curb online harassment

Over the last few years, Twitter has subject to excessive scrutiny over its inability to deal with online trolls and failing to make people feel safe on their platform. However, with a new safety policy that they announced this week, Twitter might be finally about to deal with online harassment.

Before this week, if users saw something they thought was unacceptable on Twitter, they could report it. However, there was no guarantee that anything would be done to resolve the issue. Twitter now says that the report tool has been strengthened. Plus, they have announced three new ways of dealing with online abuse.

Firstly, for serial harassers, Twitter is working on solutions to permanently suspend them from creating new accounts. The focus of this will be to prevent the creation of accounts that are created primarily for abusive content.

Secondly, Twitter is working its algorithm into tweet replies so harassment is filtered out. This will also bring to the top higher-quality tweets.

Finally, Twitter is currently developing a ‘safe search’ which will filter out potentially sensitive content and Tweets from accounts that you don’t want to see. 

According to Vice-President of Engineering Ed Ho, these modifications to Twitter aim to "give people more control over what they see on Twitter”. The changes will be rolled out to users over the next few months.