Friday, 20 July, 2018

Twitter introduces new behavioral analysis tools to fight unwanted content

The company says it will deploy a screen saying “show more replies” in front of responses that its systems adjudicate as vexatious cynical or calculated to offend Twitter introduces new behavioral analysis tools to fight unwanted content
Sandra Phillips | 16 May, 2018, 08:50

According to Twitter, "What we're talking about today are troll-like behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation on Twitter, particularly in communal areas like conversations and search". "We aren't proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough".

A company spokesperson denied that the move was an attempt to influence political discussion on the platform.

Facebook and Google have largely responded by promising to hire thousands of moderators and improve their artificial intelligence tools to automate content removal. Many women can not express themselves freely on Twitter without fear of violence, Amnesty International said in a report in March.

"A lot of our past action has been content based, and we are shifting more and more to conduct", Dorsey said. According to the announcement, Twitter will also be "looking at how accounts are connected to those that violate our rules and how they interact with each other".

Twitter's new approach to ranking tweets will not take into account the actual content of tweets.

To determine whether an account is actively trolling others, the company looks at whether many accounts are accessed from the same IP address, which could indicate they belong to a unique user.

Rather than completely removing tweets with negative signals, Twitter will filter them out by hiding them behind a "see more replies" button.

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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.

With these new signals, Harvey explained, "it didn't matter what was said; it mattered how people reacted".

The algorithm tweaks do not means that tweets will be deleted, but those that are found to "distort and detract from the public conversation" will be pushed further down conversations and search results to reduce their visibility.

"People contributing to the healthy conversation will be more visible in conversations and search", it said.

The good news is that Twitter's new approach is showing promise. In 2015, then CEO Dick Costolo acknowledged that the company "sucks at dealing with abuse and trolls".

Despite the progress made, the company acknowledges that there's much more to be done when it comes to promoting healthy conversations on Twitter, but it made an affirmation to keep learning and improving its tools.

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