Twitter says it will be more proactive in flagging tweets that violate its rules against threats, abusive content and hate speech. In the past, the social media company said it only reviewed abusive tweets reported by users. Now, it intends to use technology to identify abusive tweets even before users report them.
This takes the burden of reporting off Twitter users who don’t feel safe on the app. So, they now use technology to detect 62% of abusive content, while they rely on flagging by users for the remaining 38%. They are coming after their other social media counterparts. Facebook announced earlier in the year that it was using artificial intelligence to identify offensive content even before users report it.
Last year, a study confirmed that Twitter was an especially toxic place for women. A larger population of female journalists and politicians received abusive tweets every 30 seconds on average.
The CEO and co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, answered enquiries about these issues during a TED2019 conference on 16th April 2019 in Vancouver, USA. He took the stage to budding questions by Twitter users.
Dorsey confirmed that there was a lot more the company could do to make the social networking platform a lot healthier and safer. He said,
“We’ve seen abuse [and] harassment. We’ve seen manipulation, automatic and human coordination, [and] misinformation. What worries me most is our ability to address it in a systemic way that is scalable.”
Do you have a question for @jack? Share it using the hashtag #AskJackAtTED. @WhitPennRod and @TEDChris are now interviewing him about concerns and opportunities for Twitter’s future. Your questions may appear live on stage at #TED2019.
— TED Talks (@TEDTalks) April 16, 2019
A lot of the questions on the thread also bordered on abuse, harassment and regulations. Users used the #AskJackAtTED to air their questions.
No abuse here
Investigate journalist Carole Cadwalladr, in a tweet, asked why a video of her being beaten up and threatened stayed for up to 72 hours on the app. She writes for The Guardian UK.
Ooh exciting. @jack is taking questions from Twitter users live at TED today. Anyone?? I’d like to know why a video that showed me being beaten up & threatened with a gun to soundtrack of Russian anthem stayed up for 72 hours despite 1000s of complaints, @jack?#AskJackAtTED pic.twitter.com/KuRdNoDyAY
— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) April 16, 2019
Dorsey, when asked what he would change if he had to start Twitter again, said he would not emphasise on likes and follower counts as much. He also revealed that Twitter might be pushing interests instead of individuals. They are looking to encourage people to follow interests as against user accounts.
Twitter also intends to crack tackle users who create new accounts after they are suspended. Out of its 321 million monthly active users, it said it has suspended 100,000 accounts between January and March 2019.