Twitter acquires startup Smyte in effort to curb harassment

Twitter acquires startup Smyte in effort to curb harassment
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Twitter announced Thursday that it will acquire a startup focused on reducing digital abuse, a longtime problem for the micro-blogging platform.

The company, Smyte, focuses on building technology to prevent fraud and abuse on digital platforms.

“From ensuring safety and security at some of the world’s largest companies to specialized domain expertise, Smyte’s years of experience with these issues brings valuable insight to our team,” Twitter said in a post.

Smyte’s website said it’s immediately shutting down to be absorbed by Twitter, but an archived version of its website from last month lists past clients such as Indiegogo, Musically, Quora and Zendesk, and it counts Y Combinator as one of its investors.

The company lists its four focuses as stopping online abuse, averting scams, preventing harassment and securing accounts.

Scams still occasionally make it past Twitter’s filters, and users still complain about being harassed on the platform.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has said that he’s focused on increasing the “health” of Twitter’s platform, as some of the site’s detractors have accused the site of sometimes devolving into a space that allows for hateful and negative comments.

“We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers," Dorsey tweeted in March. "We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough.”