Twitter to implement changes meant to crack down on trolls

Twitter to implement changes meant to crack down on trolls
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Twitter announced Tuesday that it will implement new changes aimed at downplaying the visibility of "trolls" on its platform.

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The company will now try to detect behavior patterns with human reviewers and machine-learning techniques that it has associated with trolls to crack down on them. When Twitter considers an account to be engaged in "trolling" bad behavior, it will display their tweets less and hide them in conversations.

Users will still be able to view all tweets in a conversation, but more replies from potential trolls will only be accessible after they click “Show more replies” in a Twitter conversation thread.

“Some troll-like behavior is fun, good and humorous. What we’re talking about today are troll-like behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation on Twitter, particularly in communal areas like conversations and search,” wrote David Gasca, Twitter's product manager for health, and Del Harvey, Twitter's vice president for trust and safety. 

“Some of these accounts and Tweets violate our policies, and, in those cases, we take action on them,” they continued.

They wrote that early testing of Twitter’s new efforts has shown some success, with a 4 percent decrease in abuse reports from search results and an 8 percent decrease in abuse reports from Twitter conversations.

The changes are a part of Twitter’s efforts to increase the “health” of its platform. Twitter has taken steps to boot abusive and bad actors from its platform in recent years, but has still fielded criticism for being a cesspool of negativity.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in March that Twitter is working aggressively to change that.