Twitter today released an update on how their new anti-abuse measures are having a significant impact on the user safety. Though the company refrained itself from sharing any numbers as to how many cases of abuse reports it registers and the corresponding actions taken against them, it did announce the cases of account suspensions, abuser account functionality, and further actions have been under strict checks. This report from Twitter comes just days after an article on BuzzFeed highly criticized the fact that how the social media today is plagued by systematic abuse problem. Twitter was in the firing line of this article which focused primarily on Twitter’s anti-harassment controls claiming them to be a “large cosmetic solution” and the drawbacks in its algorithmic moderation systems.
So, is Twitter lacking something or it’s just BuzzFeed trying to create some “BUZZ”?? The truth is yes, though Twitter has implemented a number of anti-abuse measures, yet there is a huge scope of doing a lot to actually curb the problem. BuzzFeed’s analysis of the situation not just points out the loopholes in Twitter’s anti-abuse policies but also targets the tad slow attitude of the Twitter team to respond to such cases. To make their claims strong, BuzzFeed also has stories of Twitter abuse victims who often have to deal with improper dismissals of users’ harassment claims.
The real deal of this lies in the fact that Twitter enables users to troll others, post their opinions and have a voice. If it finds something abusive, it simply toys around with users like limiting their functionality instead of banning them once and for all. This makes it difficult for the company itself to thrive since Twitter needs numbers to grow. In short, many of such abuse cases go unheard. According to the latest announcement today, Twitter claims that it is taking 10 times more action as compared to 2016 and is removing repeat offenders from their platform. The company has also taken a new and more formulated step when it comes to limiting the functionality of users. Users today are told as to why their accounts have been limited to functionality; this has resulted in almost 25% lowers cases of abuse. Yet again, only 65% of such accounts are put under limited functionality just once, though many deserved the second action.
Responding to the statements and comments made by BuzzFeed, Twitter maintains that each individual has a different definition of abuse. Depending upon harassment definitions and company policies, every person has been given the control of what can see and experience on this micro blogging site. There is no denying the fact that Twitter needs to do more. Giving a platform to people for tweeting out violent threats, disrespecting someone, invading privacy, or disclosing information on a private citizen is simply not accounted for. What still remains to be seen is whether Twitter succeeds in creating a kinder, gentler arena for online discourse.