Skip to main content

Twitter hopes new ‘quality filter’ will help hide abusive tweets

Twitter icon
Ever since last month when the world learned that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo really didn’t have a high opinion of the way the company dealt with abuse on the platform, his team has been rolling out update after update in a bid to improve the situation.

The latest change arrives as part of an iOS app update rolled out Monday. Spotted by tech entrepreneur Anil Dash, ‘quality filtering’ aims to “remove all tweets from your notifications timeline that contain threats, offensive or abusive language, duplicate content, or are sent from suspicious accounts.”

Related Videos

It seems that the new feature is for now being offered to verified users, or some verified users. Once the update has been downloaded, a message gives them the opportunity to enable the filter or leave it off.

There’s been no official word from Twitter on the new feature – the update notes speak only of “minor improvements – so it seems the company is currently testing the effectiveness of the tool with a limited number of users before deciding whether to roll it out to the rest of the community across all platforms.

Last week Twitter made it easier for users suffering abuse on the service to report incidents to the police, while last month it announced it was expanding the team that deals with reports of abuse. While these moves aim to improve the way harassment is dealt with by Twitter, the ‘quality filter’ is the first effort aimed at actually reducing the amount of abuse seen by a user.

Twitter’s recent efforts to deal more robustly with users who violate the service’s rules come after CEO Dick Costolo’s frank admission in internal emails sent in February in which he admitted the company “sucks at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years.”

With some harassed users choosing to quit Twitter, the team is making efforts to root out trolls so that, in the words of Costolo, “when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them.”

Editors' Recommendations

Twitter’s new hide reply tool lets you publicly ignore comments
Hand holding a Twitter phone

Twitter users can now hide replies, without going as far as removing them from the platform entirely. After testing the tool earlier this year, Twitter announced (via tweet, of course) that users can now hide replies. The option begins rolling out on Thursday, November 21, after previous tests in the United States, Japan, and Canada.

The hide reply tool is meant to put some replies out of the spotlight without deleting them entirely -- after all, as soon as networks launch more options for users to control content, critics cry censorship. The hidden replies are no longer directly under the tweet, but can still be viewed inside a dedicated section housing such replies, if users actually make the effort to go look for them.

Read more
Twitter’s latest feature lets you explore tweets in a whole new way

Twitter is about to roll out a new Topics feature to help users find a greater selection of content across a range of subjects.

Following several months of testing, Topics will launch globally on November 13 and for the first time will give users a way to follow tweets on specific subjects, rather than just accounts.

Read more
Twitter removes more than half of abusive tweets automatically
Hand holding a Twitter phone

Twitter now removes half of tweets containing abusive content automatically without relying on content moderators or users reporting them. 

The social media platform’s 2019 third quarter report revealed that 50% of those tweets that were removed due to abusive content were done so through improvements in machine learning. 

Read more