Twitter to hide comments identified as 'trolling' from users

It says people contributing to 'healthy conversation' will be more visible

Twitter to hide comments identified as 'trolling' from users

The Twitter app is seen on an iPhone in 2017 | Image: Jaap Arriens/SIPA USA/PA Images

Social media site Twitter has announced changes in its attempt to address trolling.

It is to hide potentially trolling behaviour from users - while the material itself will remain on the platform.

It says if an account has not confirmed their email address, if the same person signs up for multiple accounts simultaneously, accounts that repeatedly tweet and mention accounts that do not follow them this could be seen as examples of trolling.

In a blog post, the company explains: "We're tackling issues of behaviours that distort and detract from the public conversation in those areas by integrating new behavioural signals into how tweets are presented.

"By using new tools to address this conduct from a behavioural perspective, we're able to improve the health of the conversation, and everyone's experience on Twitter, without waiting for people who use Twitter to report potential issues to us.

"There are many new signals we're taking in, most of which are not visible externally.

"Just a few examples include if an account has not confirmed their email address, if the same person signs up for multiple accounts simultaneously, accounts that repeatedly Tweet and mention accounts that don't follow them, or behaviour that might indicate a coordinated attack.

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"We're also looking at how accounts are connected to those that violate our rules and how they interact with each other.

"These signals will now be considered in how we organise and present content in communal areas like conversation and search."

But the company adds: "Because this content doesn't violate our policies, it will remain on Twitter, and will be available if you click on 'Show more replies' or choose to see everything in your search setting.

"The result is that people contributing to the healthy conversation will be more visible in conversations and search."

Twitter says in early testing around the world, it has seen this new approach have a positive impact - resulting in a 4% drop in abuse reports from search and 8% fewer abuse reports from conversations.

It adds: "Our work is far from done. This is only one part of our work to improve the health of the conversation and to make everyone’s Twitter experience better.

"This technology and our team will learn over time and will make mistakes.

"There will be false positives and things that we miss; our goal is to learn fast and make our processes and tools smarter."