Twitter Confirms It’s Trying To Identify Abusive Accounts Before Anyone Reports Them

Twitter is on a roll: In its second safety update of the year aimed at curbing harassment on its platform, the social media network says it will now proactively try to identify abusive accounts — even before anyone has reported them for being abusive.

Previously, another user (or users) would have to flag an account or Tweet in order for Twitter to see it and consider taking action. Once Twitter has identified abusive accounts, it will limit certain account functionality for a set amount of time, such as allowing only their followers to see their Tweets — a feature some users already experienced in mid-February and didn’t seem to like very much.

If an account continues to repeatedly violate Twitter’s rules after that, “we will consider taking further action,” says the company.

Twitter says its goal is to only act on accounts when confident their behavior is abusive, based on the platform’s algorithms, but acknowledges there may be some hiccups.

“Since these tools are new we will sometimes make mistakes, but know that we are actively working to improve and iterate on them everyday,” says Twitter.

Twitter also has a new set of filtering options for notifications so users can have more control over what they see from certain types of accounts. No profile photo? Filter’em out. Unverified email addresses? Filter’em out.


The “mute” feature introduced last November will be expanded as well: Now, you can mute someone from your home timeline and set a time limit on how long the content is muted — a day, week, a month, or forever.

Twitter says it’s going to improve the transparency and openness of its reporting process, which means users will hear from Twitter more about Tweets or accounts that they’ve reported. Users will be notified when Twitter has received their report, and if the network decides to take more action.

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