On Monday, Twitter announced an update to their abuse prevention system that allows users to flag accounts by attaching questionable tweets to an account report.
This comes following a Breitbart report in March detailing the company’s struggle to retain their advertisers in the face of criticisms that the social media platform has censored conservative users.
Twitter has faced criticism for their handling of speech content on the site over the past few months. In the past year, Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos had his verification check mark removed, and conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain had his account suspended without reason.
Until this point, users were unable to directly attach offending tweets when they flag accounts for violating Twitter rules. The company claims that this update will help to solve issues of harassment more quickly, but dissidents who have been targeted on the site in the past may be skeptical that this change may only serve to further censor political speech that Twitter doesn’t want on the platform.
In a statement on the updates, Twitter claimed that they “want everyone on Twitter to feel safe expressing themselves,” and “behavior that crosses the line into abuse is against our rules and we want it to be easy for you to report it to us.” In an alleged effort to prevent this behavior, the firm made the decision to make “an improvement to our reporting process: the ability to attach multiple Tweets to a single report.”
Just earlier this year, the company created an internal body called the Twitter Trust and Safety Council, citing concerns with “abuse” on the platform. This decision has since come under fire after allegations were made that the council abuses its authority to punish users for appropriate speech content.
While Facebook continues to see growth in its advertisement revenue, Twitter has to consider changes that protect the speech of their users to remain a competitive social media platform.