The company relatively gave out few details on how the changes would work, stating trolls would seek to use the information to play the newly set up system, so it is unclear, for example, what new steps Twitter will take to prevent banned users from attempting to rejoin the platform.
Although this sounds like a mission impossible but lets see how it plays out
"We stand for freedom of expression and people being able to see all sides of any topic," Ed Ho, Twitter's vice president of engineering, said "That's put in jeopardy when abuse and harassment stifle and silence those voices."
The new approach to conversations groups “Less relevant replies” and hides them underneath a button at the bottom of the tweet. Tap the button to see the rest of the replies. Twitter would not say what replies would be categorized as less relevant, but it seems designed to reduce the number of responses from newly created accounts with few or no followers.
Twitter said a little more about its “safe search” feature, which will be personalized to the user. By default, it will hide graphic and sexually explicit images and video from search results. It will also hide tweets from any accounts that you have muted or blocked. The tweets will still be “discoverable” if you want to dig for them, Twitter said, though it did not specify how.
The problem of harassment on Twitter started years, twitfights and co have added to the use of abusive words on the platform. Former CEO Dick Costolo said last week he wishes he'd put better protections in place in the site's early days. The issue flared up mightily in recent months, drawing increased scrutiny.
At first glance, the changes introduced do not look substantially new. Filtering replies algorithmically logically follows a feature introduced in last November that allows users on the platform to block specific keywords from their mentions. The company promised at the time that muting would come to search as well. And Twitter has targeted users who create multiple accounts for the purposes of harassment for nearly two years.
On one hand, it’s good to see Twitter continuing to refine its anti-abuse tools. On the other, the company has a long history of making minor changes to its tools and policies, loudly bragging about them, and then watching as both regular and high-profile users continued to experience massive abuse.
The new features should give Twitter users a safer environment, said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with e-Marketer.
"That said, there is always the risk that the automated system will not work correctly and will misidentify abusive tweets as safe, or vice versa, or that the trolls will figure out how to get their tweets past Twitter's new safety measures," she said. "But overall, these are positive steps in the uphill battle to curb abuse."
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