April 22, 2015 10:31:22 am
Twitter has started rolling out a filter to verified iOS users which will keep out abusive tweets, tweets that give threats of violence, etc, says a report in TechCrunch. The ‘quality filter’ is only available to some verified users on iOS.
Twitter had earlier written a blogpost saying they were updating their policy on dealing with abuse. The blogpost had pointed out that that Twitter will be updating the violent threat policy and that it now “extends to ‘threats of violence against others or promot[ing] violence against others.’
The blog post said, “Our previous policy was unduly narrow and limited our ability to act on certain kinds of threatening behavior. The updated language better describes the range of prohibited content and our intention to act when users step over the line into abuse.”
The post also mentioned the new filter feature stating, “We have begun to test a product feature to help us identify suspected abusive Tweets and limit their reach. This feature takes into account a wide range of signals and context that frequently correlates with abuse including the age of the account itself, and the similarity of a Tweet to other content that our safety team has in the past independently determined to be abusive.”
According to the post on TechCrunch, the feature will remove all tweets from the notifications timeline that contain death threats, abusive language, duplicate content or those that are sent from suspicious accounts.
The roll-out comes soon after Twitter’s general counsel Vijaya Gadde said in an column published by the Washington Post, that company was stepping up its policies to protect users from hate speech.
“We need to do a better job combating abuse without chilling or silencing speech,” Gadde said. We are also overhauling our safety policies to give our teams a better framework from which to protect vulnerable users,” he wrote.
“As some of our users have unfortunately experienced firsthand, certain types of abuse on our platform have gone unchecked because our policies and product have not appropriately recognized the scope and extent of harm inflicted by abusive behavior,” Gadde said. “Even when we have recognized that harassment is taking place, our response times have been inexcusably slow and the substance of our responses too meager. This is, to put it mildly, not good enough.”
With Twitter abuse and deaths threats have been a common problem. Muting and blocking users hasn’t really helped in improving the conversation on the site. Of course, quality filtering won’t entirely stopping the problem and it remains to be seen how Twitter will expand its crackdown on abuse.
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