Twitter to hide comments identified as 'trolling' from users

The move is part of Twitter's plan to improve the health of discussion on the platform

Twitter is rolling out new troll-fighting tools as it deals with the many complaints it receives about tweets that don't necessarily violate its policies.

Those tweets will still be available, but users will have to manually click "show more replies" in order to reveal them.

The company said it would now look at "behavioural signals" to "improve the health" of discussions on the platform.

In tests the new approach resulted in a 4 percent decrease in abuse reports originating from search results and an 8 percent decrease in abuse reports from the conversations that take place as replies to tweets, according to the company. Additionally, people's behaviors will be taken into account to determine whether their tweet should be featured more prominently when other users search Twitter for a particular topic.

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In order to identify the behavior, the company has picked out certain patterns of behavior which it associates with troll-like accounts.

Essentially, Twitter is making a strong effort to distinguish itself from its competitors right now, particularly since we live in a post-Cambridge Analytica world, where social media platforms must convince their customers that the integrity and quality assurance inherent to their services remain protected and secure at all costs.

"The challenge for us has been: how can we proactively address these disruptive behaviours that do not violate our policies but negatively impact the health of the conversation".

Harvey and Gasca said that there are many new signals that Twitter is taking in, most of which are not visible externally. The automated tools can also check on whether those users have ties to or interact with accounts that violate Twitter rules. For example, a user who signs up for multiple accounts at once, or users who repeatedly tag those who don't follow them in tweets.

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For Twitter, this means utilizing an amalgamation of code-based rules, human reviews, and machine learning-which will all help organize and present content to the user in a purportedly healthier way, in areas such as search and conversation.

"We're encouraged by the results we've seen so far, but also recognise that this is just one step on a much longer journey to improve the overall health of our service and your experience on it", they said.

Twitter says that initial trials have shows that using this method has resulted in an 8pc fall in the number of abuse cases reported to it.

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