Twitter’s way to tackle abusive trolls; said to work on keyword filtering tool

By: | Updated: August 30, 2016 12:13 PM

Twitter Inc. is reportedly working on a keyword-based tool as a tweet moderation feature to control the harrassment problems.

Twitter: After a series of reports and stories on social media abuse, the San Francisco-based company has been working on the implementation of the anti-harrassment tool where users will be able to block keywords to fight abuse (Reuters)Twitter: After a series of reports and stories on social media abuse, the San Francisco-based company has been working on the implementation of the anti-harassment tool where users will be able to block keywords to fight abuse (Reuters)

Twitter Inc. is reportedly working on a keyword-based tool as a tweet moderation feature to control the harassment problems. After a series of reports and stories on social media abuse, the San Francisco-based company has been working on the implementation of the anti-harassment tool where users will be able to block keywords to fight abuse, Bloomberg said in a report. The report said that Twitter has been internally discussing the tool ‘for a year’, yet since it has not been made public, it will be difficult to say when or if the product will be rolled out.

If the anti-abuse tool based on keywords, is implemented, Twitter users will be able to block swear words, certain slangs, racial slurs and more. Twitter whose basic idea as a social networking website is that any person can write anything to anybody, but after a spate of issues related to abuse on the website, the company has been trying to find a technological solution. Recently celebrities to journalists, many have quit the website, citing online attacks as a reason. However, Twitter has tried to make some in-roads to curb the nuisance, by banning people including celebrities. Twitter had also rolled out a feature called ‘Quality Filter’ a few days back which is a tool to block automated or abusive content and instead provide the user with “quality tweets”.

Twitter recently reported that they had the slowest revenue growth since in the last 3 years and it is understandable with as companies like Snapchat and Instagram are growing in popularity. CEO Jack Dorsey’s top priority right now is to implement the strategies to address the abuse issue. According to the Bloomberg report, Twitter in the past few months has been consulting with an outside council comprising of anti-harassment groups.

The idea of keywords identification will likely be similar to how Instagram uses comment moderation tool but the major issue would be that when people will get to know, they can outsmart the tool by deliberately misspelling the words. Bloomberg said that Twitter’s spokesperson refused to comment on the issue and that updates on the plans to address this issue will be announced soon.

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