Twitter update hides tweets posted by trolls

The company says it will deploy a screen saying “show more replies” in front of responses that its systems adjudicate as vexatious cynical or calculated to offend

They said that while some Twitter accounts belonging to trolls have violated policy and the platform has taken action, other trolls don't necessarily violate Twitter's policies but have managed to distort or ruin erstwhile healthy conversations. While these apparently account for less than one percent of Twitter accounts, the platform maintains that this portion of users still significantly affects the online experience.

While not saying whether there are key phrases or words that indicate comments to be hidden, Twitter has said it will use "signals" such as an account-holder having multiple accounts or not having verified their account via email.

The company has been testing the new methods in markets around the world, and claimed it had seen abuse reports fall as a result, with a 4 per cent drop in reports from searches and an 8 per cent decline in reports from conversations.

"What we're talking about today are troll-like behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation on Twitter, particularly in communal areas like conversations and search", the company explained.

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

The move is part of the company's push to create healthier conversations on Twitter - a goal first announced by CEO Jack Dorsey in March.

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According to Twitter, the majority of accounts reported make up less than 1 per cent of its total user base, which now stands at 336 million monthly active users.

Twitter's latest effort to curb trolling and abuse on the site takes some of the burden off users and places it on the company's algorithms. "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.

"We're also looking at how accounts are connected to those that violate our rules and how they interact with each other", Twitter executives wrote in the post.

Twitter is using machine learning to study whether email addresses are unconfirmed, or whether users are signing up for multiple accounts at the same time.

Twitter said it has tested the new approach and saw reductions in abuse complaints in conversations and in search.

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