Tweet success: Twitter says action against trolls is working

20 Jul 20174 Shares

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Image: AlesiaKan/Shutterstock

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

People are now experiencing significantly less online abuse, Twitter claims.

Measures against trolls are working and Twitter is now taking action on 10 times the number of abusive accounts every day, compared with a year ago.

In revealing the effectiveness of various tools and functions rolled out in the past year, the social media giant said that while much has been achieved, there is still much more to do.

‘Making the internet a safer place is a challenge, but we will only be successful if industry, government and organisations work together to achieve that common goal’
– IAN POWER

The company said that over the past year, it has introduced a range of product updates, including the ability to ban repeat offenders.

As a result, people are experiencing less abuse on Twitter today than they were six months ago.

“We’re now taking action on 10 times the number of abusive accounts every day compared to the same time last year. We also now limit account functionality or place suspensions on thousands more abusive accounts each day,” Twitter said.

“There are repeat offenders who create new accounts after being suspended for violations.

“Our new systems, in the last four months alone, have removed twice the number of these types of accounts. Beyond the technology, our teams are continuing to review content daily and improve how we enforce our policies.”

Teaching the tweeters

Twitter said that communicating with people who post abusive tweets by limiting the functionality of their accounts is key.

“Accounts that demonstrate abusive behaviour are now limited for a time, and told why.

“Accounts that we put into this period of limited functionality generate 25pc fewer abuse reports, and approximately 65pc of these accounts are in this state just once,” said the company.

As well as introducing new tools such as notification filters and muting keywords, the recently introduced Quality Filter has led to fewer unwanted interactions – Twitter said that blocks after @ mentions from people you don’t follow are down 40pc.

“We have consistent harassment definitions and policies that apply to everyone. However, people define abuse differently so, using these new tools, every person has control of what they see and experience on Twitter.”

Ian Power, executive director of youth site SpunOut.ie (a safety partner of Twitter in Ireland), said: “It’s clear Twitter is working hard to take more action against abusive accounts, and we’re particularly encouraged by their success in transforming behaviour through communicating with offending users.

“Making the internet a safer place is a challenge, but we will only be successful if industry, government and organisations like ours work together to achieve that common goal.”

Twitter logo in crayon. Image: AlesiaKan/Shutterstock

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com