Skip to main content

Twitter is now placing a timeout on the activity of abusive users

Twitter is reportedly putting abusive users in the naughty corner. The social platform has recently taken to clamping down on abuse with a renewed sense of urgency, and its latest measure places a temporary timeout on accounts that violate its policies.

A number of users are tweeting that they’ve received notices from the company that their accounts are being “limited” in terms of reach, reports Heat Street. According to the official warning that user @Drybones5 received, the restrictions result in your activity being restricted from the wider Twitter community.

What this essentially means is that people outside the offender’s network of followers will not be able to see their tweets. Some of the users who have allegedly been placed under the limit, which lasts 12 hours, claim that the procedure does not take into account the context behind the language deemed abusive. It is unclear at this stage whether the company is using some form of automated keyword filter, which could be prone to mishaps. We have reached out to Twitter for a comment.

#PotentiallyAbusive is an excuse today @twitter is trying to limit my voice on their platform lets make sure they don't limit yours tomorrow

— Keith B. Still (@NaYaKnoMi) February 14, 2017

“Creating a safer environment for people to freely express themselves is critical to the Twitter community, so if behavior that may violate the Twitter Rules is detected, certain account features become limited” writes the company in its warning.

Last week, Twitter rolled out two new anti-abuse updates powered by machine learning algorithms. They included a safe search tool and collapsed replies in conversations. At the time, Twitter also stated that it would no longer tolerate permanently suspended users from creating new accounts.

However, not all of the company’s updates have been embraced by its community. On Monday, the platform was forced to ditch a new feature that put an end to notifications relating to lists following a backlash from users who deemed it irrelevant and problematic.

Editors' Recommendations

Saqib Shah
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Saqib Shah is a Twitter addict and film fan with an obsessive interest in pop culture trends. In his spare time he can be…
Look out, Twitter Circle is exposing private tweets
A stylized composite of the Twitter logo.

Twitter Circle launched last summer as a feature that lets you tweet to a specific group of people. In the company’s own words, Twitter Circle allows for “more intimate conversations and [to] build closer connections with select followers.”

But according to multiple reports, some of these private tweets have been reaching the rest of the platform, which, depending on the nature of the content, could result in some rather awkward situations.

Read more
Elon Musk’s latest plan for Twitter hasn’t gone down well
A digital image of Elon Musk in front of a stylized background with the Twitter logo repeating.

Elon Musk has said that from April 15, Twitter accounts will have to be subscribed to Twitter Blue to have any chance of their tweets appearing in the For You recommendations feed. Membership of Twitter’s premium tier will also be required to vote in Twitter polls, he said.

Musk, who acquired Twitter in October 2022 in a deal worth $44 billion, said the move was “the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over” the For You feed. Offered as an alternative to the Following feed, For You deploys an algorithm to serve up tweets that it thinks you’ll like, often from accounts that you don’t follow.

Read more
Twitter braces itself after source code leaked online
A stylized composite of the Twitter logo.

Parts of Twitter’s source code have been leaked online, according to a legal filing with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California.

First reported by the New York Times, the contents of Twitter’s source code -- the all-important software that powers the platform and makes it work -- showed up on GitHub, an internet hosting service for software development.

Read more