Social Media

Twitter seeks to combat online abuse problem with troll-fighting filters

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

August 19, 2016 | 3 min read

Twitter is handing over more power to users in a bid to tackle online abuse and trolling on the platform.

The social network has introduced a 'quality filter' and a series of 'notification settings' to improve user experience on the platform and shake off accusations that it isn't doing enough to tackle harassment online.

Announcing the news via a blog post, Twitter's product manager Emil Leong explained how the new features will work.

Twitter

Twitter has introduced troll filters

First up, the quality filter will " filter lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated," ie spam. There's no mention of abusive language but Engadget reports that the tool apes a similar feature that was rolled out to verified users earlier this year which was designed to remove abusive tweets. The filter won't block tweets from profiles a user has previously interacted with.

"We’ve designed the feature to learn and improve over time so what we’re rolling out is just a start, and we’ll keep you posted on updates in the future," wrote Leong.

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Secondly, a change to notifications settings will users the ability to limit notifications to only people they follow; meaning @'s from random individuals won't appear in their alerts tab.

While this could potentially stop aggressive or spammy tweets appearing in users' line of sight it has already been crticised for "masking" the abuse problem" on Twitter rather than actively fighting it.

It's no secret that Twitter has been struggling to crackdown on both abusive and spam accounts on the platform, and it has made other moves to combat this through education programs and the introduction of an internal safety council chaired by global experts.

Earlier this month, Scotland Yard announced that it was launching a new police force to help tackle hate speech and abuse.

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