Twitter has a troll problem. Even its CEO knows it. And now the company is doing more to prevent its users suffering abuse and threats on its service.
In a bid to make improvements, Twitter has announced new measures to expand the process for reporting user safety concerns, and a system that uses phone numbers to prevent those who repeatedly harass others from creating new accounts.
We streamlined the process of reporting harassment on Twitter recently; now we’re making similar improvements around reporting other content issues including impersonation, self-harm and the sharing of private and confidential information. These changes will begin rolling out today and should reach all users in the coming weeks.
Over the last six months, in addition to the product changes, we have overhauled how we review user reports about abuse. As an example, allowing bystanders to report abuse – which can now be done for reports of private information and impersonation as well – involved not only an update to our in-product reporting process, but significant changes to our tools, processes and staffing behind the scenes. Overall, we now review five times as many user reports as we did previously, and we have tripled the size of the support team focused on handling abuse reports.
These investments in tools and people allow us to handle more reports of abuse with greater efficiency. So while we review many more reports than ever before, we’ve been able to significantly reduce the average response time to a fraction of what it was, and we see this number continuing to drop.
We are also beginning to add several new enforcement actions for use against accounts that violate our rules. These new actions will not be visible to the vast majority of rule-abiding Twitter users – but they give us new options for acting against the accounts that don’t follow the rules and serve to discourage behavior that goes against our policies.
The safety of our users is extremely important to us. It’s something we continue to work hard to improve. This week’s changes are the latest steps in our long-term approach, and we look forward to bringing you additional developments soon.