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Twitter is trying once more to make the social network a nicer place to play. This time it’s rolling out a trio of new features designed to temper the toxicity of Twitter. Will these latest efforts work? If Twitter’s track record is anything to go on then probably not.
It’s well known that Twitter has a harassment problem. Thanks to a combination of trolls (who’ll say nasty stuff just to get a reaction) and legitimately nasty people (who say nasty stuff and mean it), Twitter can be a horrible place to hang out. Especially if you’re a woman.
Twitter has made various attempts to solve this problem, making it easier to report abuse, suspending the accounts of idiots, and adding the ability to filter out specific words. Unfortunately, while these have nibbled away at the problem, harassment is still an everyday occurrence.
An Update on Safety
Twitter details its latest efforts in a blog post titled, “An Update on Safety“. The three changes it’s making are:
- People who have previously been suspended from Twitter will be prevented from creating new accounts. Twitter isn’t saying how it will achieve this, but it’s seeking to stop the worse offenders from simply starting up a new account with a new username.
- Users will have the option to conduct a safe search removing “Tweets that contain potentially sensitive content and Tweets from blocked and muted accounts”. People who want to see an unfiltered view of Twitter will still be able to do so.
- Potentially abusive and low quality tweets will be hidden from view. This means anyone scrolling through a series of tweets will only see the replies Twitter deems to be constructive to the conversation. Everything else will be collapsed.
All of these changes will be rolling out in the coming weeks, and Twitter suggests it’s working on more changes behind the scenes.
Harboring Hate and Engendering Arguments
We’d like to think these changes will solve Twitter’s harassment problem, but the signs aren’t good. Sure, it will help you customize your Twitter feed, and may prevent repeat offenders from returning, but Twitter still seems to be harboring hate and engendering arguments. We’re not sure what the answer is, unless we all agree to just delete our accounts and be done with it.
Do you use Twitter? Have you ever encountered abuse or harassment? If so, how did it make you feel? Did you report it to Twitter? Do you think these efforts will make any difference? What should Twitter do to solve the problem? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Vincent Brown via Flickr