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Twitter updates abuse policy to make it easier to report trolls, mute keywords

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Twitter has long been suffering under the onslaught of trolls and abuse. In fact, many experts cite this as one of the most important reasons behind the company’s slow growth curve. Now though, the company has made an update that will let users pinpoint abusive user accounts and tweets. The main motive of this update is to let the Twitterati graduate from being powerless bystanders to active helpers in curbing the misuse of the platform.

Announcing the update, the company said,

Our hateful conduct policy prohibits specific conduct that targets people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. Today we’re giving you a more direct way to report this type of conduct for yourself, or for others, whenever you see it happening. This will improve our ability to process these reports, which helps reduce the burden on the person experiencing the abuse.

The new update will let users report abusive or hateful content. It will also let people mute keywords so that they don’t appear in their feeds, or anywhere else. So, if you were to mute “Apple”, well, you won’t meet the word on Twitter again.

As far as user reports of abusive content is concerned, Twitter is working to amp up its support teams so that they are able to respond and react to reports faster. The company hopes to achieve this goal by retraining its support teams and upgrading its systems.

Meanwhile, the ability ot mute can come in handy in a lot of other places as well. For instance, the ability to mute words can also let users avoid spoilers about TV shows, matches and so on.

This is a feature we’ve heard many of you ask for, and we’re going to keep listening to make it better and more comprehensive over time.

That said though, the company needed this update a year ago. Allow me to rephrase my statement — the update could have done a lot more good a year ago. While these things had always been an issue for the platform, Twitter started reeling under abuse and trolls relatively recently. Indeed, rumors of this update started surfacing as early as last year. However, it took the company a full one year to get them up and running.

In the intervening period, Twitter suffered from stagnant growth — something attributed at least in part to the abuse taking place o the platform — and prospective buyers for the company including Salesforce and Disney, apparently backed away due to these very issues. That said though, late is better than never and if the newly released features can contribute towards keeping hate and abuses away from Twitter, well, all the better.

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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