Twitter steps up effort to curb harassment

Twitter's latest anti-harassment measures include a filter for conversations so that

Twitter moves forward on its plan to fight harassment and spam

In July, Twitter suspended the accounts of people who harassed actress Leslie Jones after the Ghostbusters actress publicly announced she would leave Twitter because of the abuse.

Trolls have flourished on Twitter, and on Tuesday the social network outlined changes it is making to fight harassment perpetuated by some of its users.

Twitter said it will do a better job to identify users who had their accounts permanently suspended and will stop them from creating new accounts.

Twitter is also scrubbing tweets that "contain potentially sensitive content" from search results. The tweets will still exist on the user's timeline or are linked to but they won't appear in general search results. Those replies, however, will still be accessible for those seeking them.

The product changes are to roll out in the weeks to come, and some features will be more visible than others. "That's put in jeopardy when abuse and harassment stifle and silence those voices", he said.

"Making Twitter a safer place is our primary focus", reads a blog post from vp engineering Ed Ho.

Since its founding just over a decade ago, Twitter has struggled to curtail hate speech and abuse on its site while trying to promote free speech. You can also imagine that this is a tough job for the amount of new content we see on Twitter every second.

Well, first of all it will now prevent users who have been banned from the platform from coming back under a new username. Meant to address spam as well as harassment and abuse, this would filter out replies Twitter deems as "low-quality", though users could still choose to view these if they wished. The main goal here is to keep the most relevant conversations highlighted, while the other replies can be accessed elsewhere. Along with removing abusive content from search, Twitter is also identifying and collapsing tweets that are "potentially abusive and low-quality".

Last week, Twitter launched an improved way for people to report abusive tweets - now users can report tweets that mention them even if the user has blocked them.

These changes will be slowly and steadily pushed out over the course of the day - or the week, more probably.

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