Twitter is constantly making an effort to rid the social networking website of rampant abuse that plagues it and keeps many away from using it. Even those who use it, after the experience of being exposed to an abundant supply of abuse, end up leaving the social networking platform. Now Twitter is working hard to take care of this problem.
In a recent tweet the Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said:
We're taking a completely new approach to abuse on Twitter. Including having a more open & real-time dialogue about it every step of the way https://t.co/a1SV7URPEK
— jack (@jack) January 31, 2017
The Twitter VP Engineer Ed Ho also said in a tweet:
Making Twitter a safer place is our primary focus and we are now moving with more urgency than ever.
— Ed Ho (@mrdonut) January 31, 2017
In a recent blog post Ed Ho has listed the following measures Twitter is taking to curtail abuse on Twitter:
- Stop people from creating new abusive accounts once the account has been suspended. Many people get their accounts suspended due to their abusive tweets but then they open up a new Twitter account and go on to their previous abusive ways again, defeating the entire purpose of suspending the account.
- Safer search results. Just like Google and other search engines, Twitter is also introducing safe searching options that will allow you to hide potentially sensitive content from the results.
- Pushback potentially abusive and low quality tweets. A Twitter team will be identifying and collapsing potentially abusive and low-quality tweets and replies and push forward meaningful conversations.
This is all very good, but weeding out potentially abusive tweets sounds like a double-edged sword. What’s abusive for me might not be abusive for you and vice-versa. If humans start deciding what is abusive, in the name of stopping abuse, even relevant and important conversations can be pushed back.
Such instances are already happening on Twitter, especially at local level. In India there was a notorious Twitter head who would suspend accounts just because the owners of the accounts had different ideological and political views.
But sadly, abuse is a big problem on Twitter and to an extent also Facebook and some mechanism has to be developed to contain it. There will be initial hiccups but things should smoothen out gradually.