Twitter introduces ‘safe search’ and other measures to fight abuse

The organization is struggling to rid its platform of online harassment and bullying, and said that making Twitter a “safer place” is its “primary focus.”

Twitter’s desperation to rid its platform of harassment and bullying is mounting.

On Tuesday, Twitter announced through its corporate blog that it is introducing new tools to help it combat the scourge of negativity that some say have kept the platform from being acquired.

The announcement includes measures to cease the creation of new abusive accounts, introduce safe search results and collapse abusive and low-quality tweets.

The move also follows previous attempts to cut down on harassment, which include changes to Twitter’s conduct policy and the ability to mute keywords and phrases in users’ notifications.

Banishing trolls and cutting down on harassment has become Twitter’s “primary focus,” the organization 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’s vice president of engineering, Ed Ho, wrote in the blog post:

In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to roll out product changes—some changes will be visible and some less so—and will update you on progress every step of the way. With every change, we’ll learn, iterate, and continue to move at this speed until we’ve made a significant impact that people can feel.

Here’s what Twitter is introducing:

  • The platform will work to identify people who have been permanently banned from the site to ensure that they don’t create new accounts to re-engage in negative behavior.
  • Twitter is improving its “safe search” feature to exclude “potentially sensitive content.”
  • Twitter users can now use a collapse feature for abusive and low-quality tweets:

What do you think, Ragan readers? How would you advise Twitter to get a handle on its abuse problem before a critical mass of users leaves the platform for good?

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