Twitter algorithm changes will hide more bad tweets and trolls
16 May 2018, 02:16 | Hattie Nash
Nicolas Asfouri AFP Getty Images
The company also found that less than 1% of Twitter accounts made up the majority of abuse reports and that numerous reported tweets did not actually violate the company's rules, despite "detract [ing] from the overall experience" for most users.
In order to identify the behavior, the company has picked out certain patterns of behavior which it associates with troll-like accounts. Twitter says accounts that behave inappropriately will be made "less visible" on the platform, especially on search and in public conversations, where the company sees the most abuse.
When asked whether Twitter users will be able to appeal their tweets' demotion, a spokeswoman said Tuesday that the system is still being rolled out and that the company is thinking about an appeals process.
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To better manage trolls on its platform, Twitter says it's beginning to analyze the unique behavior of individual accounts. On one hand it's been upsetting to users who have been personally targeted, on the other hand it's just taken away the utility of poring through the conversations that Twitter enables in the first place.
Today we are introducing new behavior-based signals into how Tweets are organized and presented in areas like conversations and search.
"Because this content doesn't violate our policies, it will remain on Twitter, and will be available if you click on "Show more replies" or choose to see everything in your search setting", said a joint statement by Del Harvey, Twitter's vice president on trust and safety and David Gascam, Twitter's director of product management with responsibility for health.
No doubt attention-seeking trolls will be hopping with rage and crying censorship over the latest development, but Twitter said that early testing of the new tools in various markets around the world shows that keeping the negative commentary out of sight is having a positive impact. Other signals will include whether an account has confirmed an email address or whether an account appears to be acting in a coordinated attack.
Still, Twitter's discourse is often colored by such tweets, and banning the people involved seems like a good way to open the platform to cries of censorship (well, more open than it is already). However, some believe it has not gone far enough and still has work to do.
"The result is that people contributing to the healthy conversation will be more visible in conversations and search".
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