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Twitter cracks down on trolls and abuse

Safety is the social network's main focus, claims Twitter engineer.

Twitter has implemented three changes that are expected to bolster the social network’s safety and protect users from harassment.

The changes include stopping the creation of new abusive accounts, bringing forward safer search results and collapsing potentially abusive or low-quality Tweets.

Ed Ho, VP of engineering, Twitter, said: “Making Twitter a safer place is our primary focus. We stand for freedom of expression and people being able to see all sides of any topic. That’s put in jeopardy when abuse and harassment stifle and silence those voices. We won’t tolerate it and we’re launching new efforts to stop it.”

Twitter has taken steps to identify people who have been permanently suspended and stop them from creating new accounts. “This focuses more effectively on some of the most prevalent and damaging forms of behavior, particularly accounts that are created only to abuse and harass others,” Ho, explained.

“We’re also working on ‘safe search’, which removes Tweets that contain potentially sensitive content and Tweets from blocked and muted accounts from search results.” While this type of content will be discoverable if users want to find it, it will no longer clutter search results.

Twitter is also striving to identify and collapse potentially abusive and ‘low-quality’ replies, bringing the most relevant conversations to the fore. Ho said: “These Tweet replies will still be accessible to those who seek them out. You can expect to see this change rolling out in the coming weeks.”

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