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Twitter Implements Tools to Help Curtail Hate Speech + Abusive Rhetoric

Twitter hate speech new tools mute
Bethany Clarke, Getty Images

Twitter has finally implemented new measures and tools in an attempt to help curtail the visibility of aggressive hate speech so many users have experienced with increasing frequency since the platform’s inception.

The site has been criticized in the past for its refusal to address the growing abuse and hateful rhetoric employed by some of its users, a problem that has only grown worse following the results of the U.S. election, in which Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton to win the presidency.

Twitter — which was first forced to address the matter after Saturday Night Live comedian Leslie Jones quit the site for several weeks after being inundated with abuse earlier this year — admitted to noticing a rise in “abuse, bullying and harassment…across the Internet” in a statement posted to their site earlier today (November 15).

“Because Twitter happens in public and in real-time, we’ve had some challenges keeping up with and curbing abusive conduct,” the statement reads, in part. “We took a step back to reset and take a new approach, find and focus on the most critical needs, and rapidly improve. There are three areas we’re focused on, and happy to announce progress around today: controls, reporting, and enforcement.”

One of the new features is an extension on Twitter’s “mute” tool, which allows users to hide certain accounts from their feed without unfollowing them. Now, the site says, that feature will be expanded to include notifications, “enabling you to mute keywords, phrases, and even entire conversations you don’t want to see notifications about.”

Twitter also says they’ll give users “a more direct way to report [hateful] conduct for yourself, or for others, whenever you see it happening,” which they hope “will improve our ability to process these reports, which helps reduce the burden on the person experiencing the abuse, and helps to strengthen a culture of collective support on Twitter.”

Read the full statement over on Twitter’s official site.

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