Twitter timeout: Newest abuse-fighting tool limits users’ reach

The next Twitter tool to fight abuse: throttling users.

The social network is limiting the reach of some users’ tweets temporarily. Those users have tweeted that they have received emails telling them that their tweets will only reach their followers for a certain amount of time.

“We will be taking action on accounts that demonstrate potentially abusive behavior,” a Twitter spokeswoman told SiliconBeat in an email Thursday.

For example, the throttling might be applied to users who keep tweeting abusive language at an account that doesn’t follow them.

It all boils down to a timeout for users, BuzzFeed reported. Retweets by a user’s followers wouldn’t be seen by people who don’t follow the user on timeout.

The move comes after the San Francisco company said recently that it’s rolling out a fresh set of tools to fight harassment and abuse on its platform — issues that have plagued it for years. The company has dealt with trolls, hate speech and harassment while trying to stick to the freewheeling, sometimes anonymous nature of the platform.

“We’re approaching safety with a sense of urgency,” the Twitter spokeswoman said. “As such, we will be rolling out a number of product changes in the coming days and weeks – some will be immediately visible, while others will be more targeted to specific scenarios.”

Most recently, Twitter reversed its decision to mute notifications when users are added to a list, one of the tools it had hoped would help fight abuse.


Photo: Twitter’s app on an iPhone screen. (Richard Drew/AP)


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