Twitter has a problem. Well, it has several problems.
The biggest issues that people deal with on a daily basis when using Twitter are unnecessary abuse and harassment. Today, Twitter is announcing three new initiatives it hopes will cut down on theses issues, making the social network a more approachable and inclusive place. It’s calling these steps an update on “safety,” to give you an indication of just how bad the situation is for many.
There are always trolls, mean-spirited replies and passive-aggressive quoted tweets, and unfortunately simply muting and blocking doesn’t always get the job done if the person just creates new accounts. Starting today, Twitter is making it harder for people who have been suspended for harassment to create new accounts — though, of course, Twitter can’t disclose how it’s doing this, for obvious reasons.
In the end, you’re still going to see some portion of the garbage that fills Twitter.
For more casual run-ins with questionable tweets, Twitter is also working on a “safe search” feature that removes tweets that have sensitive content or tweets from muted and blocked accounts. The content will still be there if you want to go beyond the safe search, but it won’t get in the way of general searches anymore.
Finally, Twitter is implementing a system in your notifications to by default hide what it deems “low-quality tweets.” Much like Twitter has tinkered a bit to move away from the purely chronological feed, your replies will now hide mentions that were deemed low-quality or potentially abusive. Just like safe search you can still find these mentions by tapping “show less relevant replies” in the conversation.
These changes are rolling out incrementally over the course of the next few days and weeks, and with any luck we’ll all start to enjoy a cleaner — and dare I say nicer — Twitter experience.