Twitter Claims Anti-Abuse Tools Are Working — But Where’s The Data?

Image courtesy of Tom Raftery

After launching various new efforts to combat harassment and abuse, Twitter says it’s doing a bangup job of making users feel safer on the platform. But that’s according to internal data, hard numbers the company isn’t sharing — at least, not yet.

While there’s still “much work to be done,” Twitter announced today that users are experiencing “significantly less abuse on Twitter today than they were six months ago.”

Since then, Twitter launched safety updates like proactively identifying abusive accounts and a feature that allows users to hide as well as filter out abusive Tweets.


Here’s what Twitter has accomplished thus far, according to Twitter:

• Taking action against 10 times more accounts this year than it did last year — which could mean simply warning users or temporarily limiting accounts sending abusive Tweets.

• To that end, Twitter says it’s limit account functionality or suspending “thousands more abusive accounts each day.”

• Its new systems have removed twice the number of accounts from repeat offenders — who create new accounts after being suspended — in the last four months alone.

• Accounts that are put on temporary hold generate 25 percent fewer abuse reports, and approximately 65 percent of these accounts are in this state just once.

• A 40 percent drop in blocks received from accounts that had received mentions from an account that doesn’t follow them, which may imply that Twitter’s plan to keep mute replies from non-followers is working.

The Hard Numbers

Thus far, Twitter hasn’t revealed the raw data it based this news on.

However, it could do that at some point down the road. A spokesperson told The Verge that one concern Twitter has about releasing the information is that it could subject the company to new requests from governments and law enforcement agencies.

We’ve reached out Twitter for more information on this front and will update this post if we hear back.

Going forward, “We are committed to making Twitter a safe place for free expression,” said Ed Ho, Twitter’s general manager of consumer product and engineering.

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