in tech

Twitter launches additional tools to filter out trolls

Twitter’s anti-abuse initiative continues. Today on its blog, it announced several new features. Ed Ho writes:

We’re working to identify accounts as they’re engaging in abusive behavior, even if this behavior hasn’t been reported to us. Then, we’re taking action by limiting certain account functionality for a set amount of time, such as allowing only their followers to see their Tweets. For example, this change could come into effect if an account is repeatedly Tweeting without solicitation at non-followers or engaging in patterns of abusive behavior that is in violation of the Twitter Rules. Our platform supports the freedom to share any viewpoint, but if an account continues to repeatedly violate the Twitter Rules, we will consider taking further action.

“Repeatedly tweeting without solicitation at non-followers” is something that happens frequently on Twitter. In fact, it is arguably one of the most common activities. I’m curious how this filter will do its job without flagging a bunch of false positives.

Ho continues:

We’re also introducing new filtering options for your notifications to give you more control over what you see from certain types of accounts, like those without a profile photo, unverified email addresses or phone numbers. Many people requested more filter options for their notifications, and we’re excited to bring these to everyone on Twitter.

We’re also expanding the mute feature to build on the work we did in November which lets you remove certain keywords, phrases, or entire conversations from your notifications. Now, you’ll be able to mute from your home timeline and you can decide how long this content is muted – one day, one week, one month, or indefinitely. This was another big request from you and we’re looking forward to rolling it out.

It is nuts to me that this feature has taken so long to add. Twitter Eggs (new users or new accounts with no profile photos) have become so synonymous with troll accounts that it’s an internet meme at this point. But better late than never.