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Twitter to Start Hiding Tweets They Find Negative
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16 May 2018 07:29 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Twitter logo on a phone (Image source: Public domain)

 

There has been much said regarding the trolls of the Internet, who comment on a post or article with seemingly no other reason than to just slam the person who wrote the article or post. Twitter is continuing to work on the problem, announcing that they will begin hiding tweets that are "detracting from the conversation.

Different social networks give you different results, despite the fact that they seem to be slowly all adding the same features. If you have a quick comment to share with as many people as possible, you're headed to Twitter. If you like to share news, photos, and your own thoughts with just your friends, you'll find yourself on Facebook. If you post a lot of images, you want to post on Instagram. The list goes on.

But we all also know that we shouldn't end up on Twitter unless we have a really tough hide. Alarmingly, those posts it's best to void also include many from the POTUS.

Twitter is aiming to fix the problem, whether or not they decide to address Donald Trump. Rest assured they won't be deleting your tweets. Instead, they are changing their algorithm to mute certain users so that posts end up in a "see more replies" link. Additionally, their content won't be searchable.

The vice president of trust and safety at Twitter, Del Harvey, has said that the main factors that will get your tweets hidden will be how many complaints, blocks, and mutes your account receives in comparison to the number of favorites and comments a tweet receives.

It's hard to believe, but Harvey believes this will only affect one percent of the social network's users. At the end of 2017 it had around 330 million active users, which means this could affect over three million users and bots, which sounds like much more than just one percent.

"The challenge for us has been: how can we proactively address these disruptive behaviors that do not violate our policies but negatively impact the health of the conversation?" explained Harvey.

CEO Jack Dorsey added, "We want to take the burden of the work off the people receiving the abuse or harassment."

Two months ago he addressed the topic as well and said, "We've focused most of our efforts on removing content against our terms, instead of building a systemic framework to help encourage more healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking. This is the approach we now need."

Twitter is supposed to start rolling out this change in the next couple weeks, but as Slate points out, "it doesn't fundamentally change the incentives for people to be trolls and make hateful comments."

This is true. Trolls and others who enjoy spewing hate do so to cause an interruption and affect people. They also do it to be noticed. While they won't still be as easily noticed anymore, they'll still be interrupting conversations and affecting people. True change might not come until they find a way to stop that reaction.

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