• 02.07.17

Twitter will start using an algorithm to hide abusive tweets

Twitter knows it has an abuse problem. The platform has been used to lob hate speech and threats so often that many users are literally begging CEO Jack Dorsey to do something about it. Today, the company is announcing three changes to its anti-abuse efforts. 

• It will now collapse abusive or potentially “low quality” tweets using an algorithm that detects certain phrases and patterns. 

• It will also tweak its search results to downgrade abusive tweets. 

• Most concretely of all, Twitter vows to make it harder for offenders to create new accounts, a tactic frequently used by harassers.

The changes are incremental—indeed, they don’t do much to address the ease with which Twitter mobs can engage in targeted, racist harassment—but the company promises more product changes aimed at curtailing the platform’s nastiest vitriol.