Twitter Quality Filter Rolls Out To All Users To Help Fight Online Harassment And Abuse


Twitter is committed to offering a civilized expression medium on its platform, and to make that happen it has deployed a quality filter that takes care of unwanted notifications.

The social media service will use an algorithm to detect "low quality" tweets, thus allowing users to block notifications from unwanted sources. Specifically, tweets that seem to be scripted or automated will get uprooted. Twitter will evaluate the low quality content by looking at account origin and behavior.

What is more, Twitter now allows all users to receive notifications exclusively from people they follow.

Until recently, only verified accounts were able to filter out their tweets. Those unfamiliar with how Twitter works should know that a verified account has a blue checkmark by its name, just like a Facebook official page. As a general rule, verified accounts belong to celebrities who rank hundreds or thousands of followers.

In July, Twitter announced that it is now taking applications for account verification, so that a lot more users can tap into the possibility to curate their messages and notifications. Despite the company's initiative, some noteworthy users still reported problems.

A former CEO of Reddit, Ellen Pao, shared with the world an email from Twitter where she was denied a verification request. Ironically, her tweet was welcomed with more than 300 likes and topped 150 retweets.

In a later tweet, Pao noted that her account has been verified.

One main reason for deploying filters on Twitter is the surging number of harassment that have plagued the platform from its beginning. In recent years, Twitter has become a notorious hunting ground, with women and people of color frequently targeted by racists, neo-Nazis, misogynists and trolls, for no apparent reason other than existing.

Multiple complaints criticized Twitter's lack of action when faced with disrespectful and aggressive behavior from a niche of its users. BuzzFeed, among others, released a report chastising Twitter's flaccid reaction to harassment cases. The social media company responded by saying that the depictions in BuzzFeed's reports were "unfair," and mentioned that it is striving to make Twitter a safer place.

Leslie Jones brought up the subject of Twitter's abuse patterns as she departed from the platform "in tears," in the wake of a barrage of racially targeted tweets and death threats. Jack Dorsey, the helm of Twitter, took the matter in his own hands and permanently suspended the account of Milo Yiannopoulos, after removing his verified status in January. Yiannopulos is a Breitbart writer suspected of being at the origin of Jones' abuse.

Twitter has a history of lukewarm actions when it comes to dealing with harassment.

In 2015, Dick Costolo, the ex-CEO of the company, stated that the way in which Twitter treats abuse cases makes him feel "ashamed."

"We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform," Costolo said. He went on to add that such problems were hardly new to the Twitterverse.

We are happy to see that a year and half later, the company finally puts its foot down toward cleansing its nest.

Are you excited about the new quality filter? Let us know in the comments section below.

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