Twitter’s Now Serving Warnings on Certain Profiles in Latest Anti-Abuse Measure 14/3
Earlier this year, Twitter promised to take more action on trolls & abuse, and they have certainly backed up that commitment, rolling out a range of new privacy & security measures including safer search results, minimizing the visibility of ‘‘lower quality’’ tweets, implementing temporary restrictions on offending accounts & providing more user control over the types of tweets.
In isolation, each of the measures is relatively small, but cumulatively, you can start to see how Twitter is improving the user experience – or, at least, providing more tools to address the various concerns & make the platform more welcoming.
Twitter’s latest measure on the front blocks entire profiles from view, with a warning that the content tweeted from the account can be offensive.
The user can click the ‘Yes, view profile’ option & move on, but it does give them a moment of pause, a chance to stop being exposed to offensive content, if they so wish.
It is another small measure which adds to your personal selections, though the actual process itself does raise some questions.
According to Mashable, users aren’t notified when their accounts are flagged this way, and there does not appear to be any specific guidelines on why an account has been gated.
Twitter is told TechCrunch that the feature – which is currently in test mode – works to how other sensitive content is flagged, based on their existing guidelines & user reports/personal settings, but there does not appear to be any specific listing of possible violations or explanations provided to users when the tool is enacted.
Of course, this is just the early testing phase, they will likely look to make changes the process if it ever gets a full roll out, but it can become a larger concern for brands if they start getting their accounts blocked / gated based on these guidelines. Businesses obviously want to achieve as many people as possible, and tools like this could limit that. Twitter will be called upon to provide more detailed explanations on such moves – but again, that is only if the test proves valuable & they look to implement it across the platform.
It looks like the tool will have limited value, and it may get dropped entirely, but it is worth noting that this process is in place – at least in some form – there could be extended impacts.
Overall though, it is great to see Twitter making moves on this front. Twitter has been criticized for their inaction, with the platform’s lack of innovation seen as a major reason as to why they have flailed as other, faster moving apps, have advanced with user behaviors & have seen increased take-up as a result. The downside of moving faster is that sometimes you might mis-step (or ‘break things’ as Facebook would say), as Twitter has done with their anti-abuse measures – they rolled out & reversed a change to Twitter lists within a couple of hours.
But really, it is much better to see Twitter taking action, even though they then re-assess, than doing nothing at all.