Twitter Announces New Anti-abuse Tools in Continued Fight

Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter
Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter

Twitter is introducing new measures to tackle online abuse on its microblogging platform, following on from CEO Jack Dorsey’s Tweet last week announcing it would be more taking a “completely new approach to abuse on Twitter”.

Twitter is introducing three changes: stopping permanently suspended people from creating new accounts, introducing a ‘safe search’, and making ‘low-quality’ replies less visible.

Stopping the creation of new accounts is said to focus ‘more effectively on some of the most prevalent and damaging forms of behaviour’, while the ‘safe search’ will remove Tweets containing potentially sensitive content and Tweets from blocked and muted accounts from search results. Making ‘low-quality’ replies less visible will mean Twitter identifying and collapsing potentially abusive replies so only the most relevant conversations are initially presented.

“Making Twitter a safer place is our primary focus,” said Ed Ho, VP of engineering at Twitter, in a blog post. “We stand for freedom of expression and people being able to see all sides of any topic. That’s put in jeopardy when abuse and harassment stifle and silence those voices. We won’t tolerate it and we’re launching new efforts to stop it.”

The changes will be rolled out in the coming weeks. Twitter says it will continue to roll out product changes, on top of the ones announced. They come at a time when it has been revealed that they could face fines of up to £2m, in the future, under a new bill proposed by British MPS regarding online abuse.