Twitter has announced three new measures to crackdown on online harassment as part of its efforts to make the social media platform a “safer place”.
The changes include stopping abusers from creating new accounts once banned, introducing safer search results and reducing the prominence of abusive or “low-quality” tweets.
In a blog post today, vice president of engineering at Twitter, Ed Ho, said: “Making Twitter a safer place is our primary focus. We stand for freedom of expression and people being able to see all sides of any topic.
“That’s put in jeopardy when abuse and harassment stifle and silence those voices. We won’t tolerate it and we’re launching new efforts to stop it.”
In July last year, Twitter banned controversial Breitbart journalist Milo Yiannopoulos after he posted messages seen as encouraging harassment against Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones.
In September, pro Scottish nationalism news website Wings Over Scotland had its Twitter account suspended and reinstated within a day with “no explanation” as to why, according to its author.
Ho revealed today that Twitter was “taking steps to identify people who have been permanently suspended and stop them from new accounts”, but did not go into detail as to how this would work in practice.
The team is also said to be working on a “safe search” function that removes tweets containing potentially sensitive content and those coming from accounts blocked or muted by a user.
In the coming weeks the platform is also seeking to “collapse” potentially abusive tweets “so the most relevant conversations are brought forward”.
Ho added: “With every change, we’ll learn, iterate, and continue to move at this speed until we’ve made a significant impact that people can feel.
“We’re listening and want your feedback so we can learn faster, build smarter, and make meaningful progress.”