Twitter has recently announced and implemented a quality filter in its service which has been designed to remove threatening tweets and spam from user’s mentions in the latest move to combat online abuse.
Its aim is to eliminate notifications that include duplicated content, offensive or abusive language, and even those that are sent from ‘suspicious accounts’. The microblogging social network has said that the filter is currently only available to accounts that are verified, which tend to belong to high-profile individuals or specific organisations. It hopes that this will result in fewer public figures and celebrities receiving threats, a common problem on Twitter.
The news of the filter follows Twitter’s chief executive Dick Costolo’s admittance that the platform isn’t the best at tackling online trolling in a leaked memo to staff. He also stated in the memo that they are losing core user after core user, due to the fact that they have not addressed the simple issues that they’re facing day to day. Some users of the iOS version of the social application were even prompted with the option to turn on the quality filter as soon as it was added to the application.
Many have said that this is a well needed addition, especially since public figures such as Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas and Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda have all taken action in the past to announce their intent to leave, following abusive messages. Additionally, the company have recently banned intimate photos from being posted without the subject’s consent, locking accounts if anyone should break the rules until the offending information is deleted, with repeated offenders having their accounts suspended.
Social media can be an extremely powerful positive tool for companies and individuals looking to spread the word for their cause or product, but incidents like this unfortunately show that it can also be used for negative purposes. Hopefully, this new Twitter feature will reduce the incidents of online abuse and harassment and ensure that users can enjoy a safe, positive experience while they’re on Twitter.