Twitter Rolls Out Even More ‘Anti-Abuse’ Features

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Twitter is continuing its crackdown on “abusive behavior” and “hate speech” on the platform as the company struggles to attract new users.

Breitbart previously covered Twitter’s latest attempts to curb abusive speech on the platform, as users across Twitter reported that their accounts were being “limited” as a punishment for the violation of Twitter’s rules. Their tweets would not appear on people’s timelines and only their current followers could view the tweets on their profile, effectively acting as a temporary shadowban.

On Wednesday, Ed Ho, Twitter’s Vice President of Engineering, published a blog post announcing Twitter’s new anti-abuse measures: “We aim to only act on accounts when we’re confident, based on our algorithms, that their behavior is abusive.”

“Since these tools are new we will sometimes make mistakes, but know that we are actively working to improve and iterate on them everyday,” said Ho.

Twitter has made efforts to allow users to tailor their own Twitter experience by allowing users to mute certain keywords, phrases, or conversations from their timeline. This feature can be activated for a time-based period of a day, a week, a month, or indefinitely. Twitter is also allowing users to disable notifications from specific types of accounts, such as newly created accounts or those without profile pictures or verified email addresses and phone numbers.

“Twitter has been proceeding carefully and thoughtfully in thinking through and rolling out tools designed to help harassment victims,” said Danielle Citron, a University of Maryland law professor who advises Twitter on abuse issues. “Those tools aim to put victims in the driver’s seat but also tackle how overwhelming it can be when attacked by a cyber mob. The newest tool helps ensure that a harasser’s provocations of others don’t fill up victims’ notifications.”

Twitter is also focusing on user feedback, introducing a notifications feature for complaints made by users to Twitter’s anti-abuse team.  “You will be notified when we’ve received your report and informed if we take further action. This will all be visible in your notifications tab on our app,” Ho said.

Twitter’s stock crashed following the release of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report early in February, and analysts have made grave predictions for the future of the social media company.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at