Twitter is taking another step to reduce the amount of harmful content on its site, expanding the effort beyond users who explicitly break the social network's rules.
The company is tackling issues of behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation, by integrating new behavioral signals into how Tweets are presented. By using new tools to address this conduct from a behavioral perspective, Twitter says it is 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.
New signals Twitter is taking in include if an account has not confirmed their email address, if the same person signs up for multiple accounts simultaneously, accounts that repeatedly Tweet and mention accounts that don't follow them, or behavior that might indicate a coordinated attack. Twitter is also looking at how accounts are connected to those that violate the social network's rules and how they interact with each other.
These signals will now be considered in how Twitter organizes and present content in communal areas like conversation and search. Because this content doesn't violate Twitter's policies, it will remain on Twitter, and will be available if you click on "Show more replies" or choose to see everything in your search setting.
In early tests, the change reduced abuse reports in search by 4 percent and in conversations by 8 percent. It may not sound like a large impact, but "we aren't trying to remove all disagreement from communal places," said Del Harvey, Twitter's vice president of trust and safety. "What would Twitter be without controversy?"