Twitter aims to Smyte trolls with its latest acquisition

22 Jun 2018

Image: nhungboon/Shutterstock

Acquisition of Smyte is part of Twitter’s doubling down on safety and security.

Social networking platform Twitter has agreed to acquire San Francisco tech company Smyte, a “trust and safety as a service” player for an undisclosed sum.

Smyte was founded in 2014 by ex-Google and Instagram engineers and it offers tools to stop online abuse, harassment and spam.

‘The health of the conversation on Twitter remains our top priority’

“Smyte’s team, technology and company mission are aligned with our focus on improving the health of conversation on Twitter, and we believe this will be a powerful addition to our ongoing work,” Twitter said in a statement.

Safety first

Twitter said that the Smyte team has dealt with many unique issues facing online safety and it aligns with its policy of taking a proactive approach to stop abusive behaviour before it impacts users’ experience.

“Smyte’s products will help us address challenges in safety, spam and security more quickly and effectively,” Twitter said.

“Their review tools and processes will be powerful additions to our own tools and technology that help us keep Twitter safe. We’ll integrate this technology to strengthen our systems and operations in the coming months.

“The health of the conversation on Twitter remains our top priority and we’re looking forward to approaching this work with an expanded team and new technology.”

Smyte was founded by Josh Yudaken, Julian Tempelsman and Pete Hunt and has raised $6.3m in funding to date from investors that include Baseline Ventures, the Founder Collective, Upside Partners, Avalon Ventures, Harrison Metal and Y Combinator.

Smyte’s clients include TaskRabbit, GoFundMe, 99designs, and Zendesk.

However, according to TechCrunch, instead of winding down the service for existing customers, Twitter cut the service off with very little warning to existing clients of Smyte, except for a phone call.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years