Twitter to hide bad tweets from conversations and searches

Twitter logo on laptop screen

Tweets and replies will not be deleted per say but deprioritized so that most users will never see them appear in their timelines or stream of replies.

In order to address accounts that get reported - but that typically don't end up getting banned - Twitter plans on hiding tweets that detract from what the company calls "the health of the conversation".

This includes people who have repeatedly tweeted at users who do not follow them, those who have often been blocked by other members of the site, or those who set up multiple accounts at once. In tests, the company found that this method decreases abusive tweets by eight percent. Hence, tweets that don't violate the rules but were submitted by users whom Twitter deems problematic will remain visible-you'll just have to click on "Show more replies" to access them. "Some troll-like behaviour is fun, good and humorous".

By not taking into account the content of tweets, Twitter can roll out these changes worldwide because language will not be a factor.

But what we've learned as we've dug into that a little bit more is that there were actually this tiny number of accounts - less than one per cent of accounts - that were making up the majority of reports that we were receiving for abuse.
The company also found that less than 1% of Twitter accounts made up the majority of abuse reports and that numerous reported tweets did not actually violate the company's rules, despite "detract [ing] from the overall experience" for most users.

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Twitter already ranks tweets in search and in conversations.

"By using new tools to address this conduct from a behavioural perspective, we're able to improve the health of the conversation, and everyone's experience on Twitter, without waiting for people who use Twitter to report potential issues to us".

The result is that people contributing to the healthy conversation will be more visible while those that try to poison or undermine the debate with negativity will be digitally sidelined.

The move is part of Twitter's attempts to improve what it describes as the health of public conversation on its platform. Twitter admits that their work is far from done but hopefully these changes will result in a more positive user experience.

"This technology and our team will learn over time and will make mistakes", the post said. Twitter also admitted that this is just one of several approaches meant to improve people's experiences on the platform, and that there will be "mistakes", "false positives", and "things we miss".

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