Twitter wants you to feel safe on their platform.
According to a report released last week by the microblogging platform, they’ve made progress in protecting our tweets and private information.
Donald Hicks, vice president of Twitter Service, and David Gasca, senior director and product management, touted evidence of Twitter’s improved safety in the report.
For example, rather than relying on user complaints, more than a third of abusive content is removed by Twitter’s review team before it’s even reported.
Feel like people you don’t follow are harassing you? There were 16 percent fewer reports of interactions with abusive accounts. Some of these abusive account holders face were suspended.
Some abusive account holders try to create new accounts after their accounts are suspended. As you can imagine, Twitter frowns down on that.
Hicks and Gasca reported that more than 100,000 accounts were suspended for creating new accounts after a suspension between January and March of this year. That’s a 45 percent increase from the same time in 2018.
If your “legitimate” account was suspended, there’s some good news. For users who found their accounts or tweets were blocked, banned or flagged by mistake, Hicks and Gasca noted a 60 percent faster response to appeal requests with Twitter’s new in-app reporting process.
Reporting abusive and illegal content was also simplified. Compared to the same time last year, there were 3-times more abusive accounts suspended within 24 hours after a report.
More of our private information is being removed with this new reporting process. If you find private information about you in someone else’s tweet, you can ask for it to be removed.
“Keeping people safe on Twitter remains our top priority, and we have more changes coming to help us work toward that goal,” Hicks and Gasca said, outlining improvements they plan to make in the coming months.
“We’ll continue to improve our technology to help us review content that breaks our rules faster and before it’s reported, specifically those who Tweet private information, threats and other types of abuse,” they added.
They also plan to make it easier for people to share specifics when reporting so Twitter reviewers can act faster, especially when it comes to protecting someone’s physical safety.
Of course, the context of some tweets conflicts with Twitter’s enforcement of what they deem to be inappropriate content. So, to better understand the new rules, they plan to add more notices for clarity.
Starting in June, Twitter will be experimenting with ways to give us more control by allowing us to hide replies to our Tweets. This is similar to features on YouTube that give account holders the ability to turn off comments that follow video posts.
Like other social media platforms, Twitter continues to improve its safety and privacy image. Now it has the stats and strategies in place to support these initiatives.
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is professor and chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA. He researches and writes about communication and relationships, parenting and sports. He writes a weekly column for The Vindicator newspaper on social media and society.