Friday, June 22, 2018

Twitter (Finally) Combatting Trolls

November 15, 2016

By all reports, the 2017 election has brought Internet trolls from the darker corners of the Internet fully into the mainstream. Much of search and social media are now being (rightfully) criticized for their part in adding to the tone of the election, amplifying trolls, and false information. Just yesterday both Google and Facebook began to take (tiny) steps towards combatting fake news. Today, in a new blog post, Twitter is pledging to do its part to combat their troll problem.

Twitter has long had a feature called "mute" which enables you to mute accounts you don't want to see Tweets from. Now we're expanding mute to where people need it the most: in notifications. We're enabling you to mute keywords, phrases, and even entire conversations you don't want to see notifications about, rolling out to everyone in the coming days. This is a feature we've heard many of you ask for, and we're going to keep listening to make it better and more comprehensive over time.

Our hateful conduct policy prohibits specific conduct that targets people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. Today we're giving you a more direct way to report this type of conduct for yourself, or for others, whenever you see it happening. This will improve our ability to process these reports, which helps reduce the burden on the person experiencing the abuse, and helps to strengthen a culture of collective support on Twitter.

And finally, on enforcement, we've retrained all of our support teams on our policies, including special sessions on cultural and historical contextualization of hateful conduct, and implemented an ongoing refresher program. We've also improved our internal tools and systems in order to deal more effectively with this conduct when it's reported to us. Our goal is a faster and more transparent process.


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