Twitter is prepping a keyword-based tool that will shield its users from abusive tweets.
Bloomberg reports that the micro-blogging site has been working on the feature for around a year as it looks to find a technological solution to abuse on the site. The feature is compared to the one recently introduced by Instagram, though where that one removes messages deemed offensive, Twitter’s effort is more like an expansion of its ‘mute’ feature, which lets people avoid seeing tweets from specific accounts.
Twitter and its peers are repeatedly criticised for adopting a so-called hands off approach to purging abusive messages from its sites. The argument from some observers is that rather than rely on users to report abuse, social networks like Twitter could do more to action against trolls. A number of high profile users such as Stephen Fry have abandoned the service or temporarily quit when faced with a deluge of abuse.
Former chief executive Dick Costolo slammed the company’s efforts in an internal memo to employees last year. “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” he added.
Last month, Twitter permanently banned conservative writer Milo Yiannopolis after he sent a number of abusive posts to Ghostbusers across Leslie Jones.