Twitter's new tools aim to curb abuse with safe search, filtering

Twitter's executive team is promising more tools to curb abuse by filtering out the noise.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor
CNET/CBS Interactive

Twitter on Tuesday announced new tools to curb abuse, after it earlier saw scrutiny for not doing more to combat trolls.

Twitter's new tools focus on three primary areas: Stopping the creation of new abusive accounts, bringing forward safer search results, and collapsing potentially abusive or low-quality Tweets.

If you scroll through any popular Twitter account, you'll notice a bevy of trolls who reply with nothing of value. This was evident during the 2016 election season. To curb this, Twitter will zero-in on accounts that are created "only to abuse and harass others" and prevent them from opening a new account.

"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," said Twitter VP of Engineering Ed Ho in a statement.

Twitter's new "safe search" will remove any tweets "that contain potentially sensitive content" or from blocked or suspended accounts. Twitter said this information will still be discoverable if a user wants to find it.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey called the new tools "a completely new approach to abuse on Twitter."

Twitter isn't the only ones trying to curb abuse on its network, as Facebook has rolled out similar tools to curb trolls and get rid of fake information.

In January, Twitter rolled out a revamped tool to report tweets that mention you, even if the author has blocked you.

Critics of Twitter said the social network hasn't done enough to curb abuse on the social network. Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo recently said he wished the clock could be turned back and that he could have done more at Twitter to help some behavior on the social network.


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