Twitter’s new anti-harassment effort will flag users as possibly abusive before they’re reported

Twitter’s new anti-harassment effort will flag users as possibly abusive before they’re reported

Twitter announced new anti-harassment measures on Wednesday, the latest in a series of features the platform has added in recent months in response to heated criticism of the ease with which rampant abuse festers in the social platform’s depths. With the help of algorithms, the company has begun finding and taking action against people who harass fellow users, even if harassers haven’t been the subject of specific abuse reports.

This proactive step could relieve users who’ve been targeted for abuse of some of the need to file individual reports for every threatening tweet they get. In a blog post, Twitter’s vice president of engineering, Ed Ho, wrote that the company’s software will flag likely harassers—users that regularly tweet at accounts that don’t follow them back, for instance—and block those users’ tweets from being seen by anyone but their own followers for a set period of time. “We aim to only act on accounts when we’re confident, based on our algorithms, that their behavior is abusive,” Ho wrote, promising that the company will regularly update and improve the new feature as it learns what works.

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