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Twitter Ramps Up Anti-Abuse Measures By Restricting Trolls: How Time-Out On Twitter Works

19 February 2017, 8:00 am EST By Maricris Francisco Tech Times
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Twitter has come up with new guidelines to stamp out abuse and trolling on the platform. This includes a "time-out," which will restrict an abusive user for 12 hours.  ( Bethany Clarke | Getty Images )

Twitter has been under attack for its slow response to reports of abuse and harassment from some of its users. The social media site is finally making some changes to curb abusive behavior on the platform.

The Twitter Time-Out

It has been long in coming, but Twitter is finally taking steps to stop and prevent abusers from spreading their content more publicly within the social media site. The company is now temporarily restricting the access of accounts that it deem to be abusive.

Users will have a limited reach because their tweets can only be seen by their followers while their account remains in a time-out.

How Time-Out On Twitter Works

The time-out will last up to 12 hours, but it could be longer depending on the user's behavior. This measure will prevent the abusive tweet from being retweeted, and the tweets will be hidden from everyone else outside of the user's inner circle.

Twitter has been intentionally vague on how an account gets temporarily restricted or totally suspended.

However, the company did say that it looks at the overall behavior of the account rather than just concentrating on a few offensive tweets. For example, if an account continuously tweets offensive language at another account that does not follow back, Twitter can interpret the behavior as online harassment.

Twitter also announced that it will no longer notify you in threads started by users you have either blocked or muted. The only notifications you will get will be when a person you follow mentions you within the thread.

Reaction On Twitter's New Restriction Measures

Of course, the new anti-trolling measures were met with criticisms, mostly from people who will be affected and from those who think that the regulations are anti-free speech. But for the most part, many people felt that these measures are long overdue. Twitter's poor reputation when it comes to moderating abusive users was reportedly the main reason why Disney backed out of buying the company last year.

Twitter's Other Safety Updates

Aside from these new protocols, Twitter also implemented other guidelines earlier this month to regulate abuse and trolling within the platform. The site prevented suspended users from creating new accounts. It also implemented the "safe search" results that filter out abusive tweets from the search results. It will also collapse "low-quality" or abusive tweets, allowing more relevant tweets to become more visible.

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