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Twitter safety features enhanced to curb abuse

A couple of months ago Twitter Safety announced rolling out new features to improve user safety on the micro blogging platform. It would seem that changes are starting to filter through – at last. Twitter, as with other social networking platforms, has had it’s fair share of issues relating to user safety and along with the rest has been criticised for not doing enough to protect users of it’s platform.


These developments come only a few weeks after it’s CEO Dick Costolo admitted he has failed users on abuse. He wrote in an internal memo posted in the employees-only forums and later published by The Verge that ‘we suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years’. Well said Dick, now follow it up.


Do I think Twitter can do more? Yes of course they can. Users are the heart of any platforms existence – without them a platform can’t exist. The major failing, in my opinion, is that it has taken so long for Twitter to admit there was a major problem and the solutions have been slow to be rolled out. The most recent one to allow new filters to block bullying and threatening messages from users’ timelines is currently only available to verified users.


Why? If a problem exists and it clearly does – why not roll this solution out to all users? Why limit it to just those with a verified account?


According to a post on Sky News ‘The new feature uses algorithms to detect threatening words and their context to decide whether to block them from a user’s timeline’. Surely this would be a feature that all users across Twitter both verified and not, could benefit from?


Now it may be very well that Twitter wants to test this new safety feature on it’s verified users first – before a full roll out. It’s my opinion that a feature like this needs to be made available to all users from the outset, enhancing e-safety and building confidence with those who have experienced abuse on the platform. All social media platforms have a duty to protect users who are at the core of their existence. If they fail to address these key areas they run the risk of losing users as a result.
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Posted By Wayne Denner

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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