In the past couple of years, Twitter has taken several steps to try and curb abuse and harassment on its platform. In April of 2015, the company changed some of its policies to more easily ban users who threatened violence against others.
Last month, it announced a feature that allows users to report abusive tweets and harassment. And now, a new announcement has provided details on three more improvements that company is making.
In a blog post released earlier today, Vice President of Engineering Ed Ho said the company will now be able to better stop users from creating new abusive accounts if they were previously banned, provide safer search results to users, and give users the option of collapsing potentially abusive or low-quality tweets.
“Making Twitter a safer place is our primary focus. 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,” said Ho.
In the post, Ho says that Twitter will be taking steps to identify people who have been permanently suspended on the site due to abusive behavior. He says that stopping these people from making new accounts will help curb the practice of creating accounts solely for the purposes of harassing others.
The search results will also be getting revamped so that users no longer see “potentially sensitive content” or tweets from users that they have blocked or muted. Ho clarifies that this content will still be searchable if users want to find it, but it will no longer clutter more generic or ambiguous searches.
To further curb harassment, Ho’s team is developing a feature that will identify and collapse potentially abusive or low-quality replies to tweets. The change will accent high-quality and relevant replies to tweets as it does now, and other replies will be clearly marked lower down on the screen. Users will still be able to read these replies by clicking on the “Show less relevant replies” button.
Ho says that these changes, and other like them, will be rolling out in the days and weeks ahead, but not all of them may be as visible. He concludes by saying that Twitter will be listening to user feedback to help the company can “learn faster, build smarter, and make meaningful progress.”
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