Is Twitter the worst cesspool on the internet? Between the harassment campaigns, the utterly creepy behavior of, say, Martin Shkreli, and just the fact that seeing an egg avatar makes many people either roll their eyes or shudder, it can definitely feel like it. Over the last year, though, Twitter seems to have finally gotten the memo and it’s adding some new tools to keep the assorted clowns and trolls at bay.
The company is rolling out three changes to limit abuse. First, the company says it’s “taking steps” to find people who are consistently abusive and enforce that permanent ban the abusers keep trying to get around with new accounts. The second and third changes mostly have to do with search and what you see. Soon, when you search a hashtag or a term on Twitter, you won’t automatically see garbage from blocked or muted accounts. Over the next few weeks, “low quality” and abusive replies will also be collapsed and thus harder to find in conversation threads.
While this isn’t the booting of the neo-Nazis many would like to see, it’s a useful set of tools on paper. But we won’t know how effective it is until the next hate-fueled hissy fit.