Twitter will punish abusive tweeters with temporary ban


Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Twitter’s clampdown on social media abuse has begun with a new policy that restricts abusive tweeters.

Those who violate the rules will have their tweets hidden from those who don’t follow them — but the restriction won’t last long.

Twitter has received criticism for years for not doing enough to tackle offensive tweets, but the company is finally doing something about it this year with new policies aimed at taking down persistent trolls. Step one will see those who tweet abusive messages punished temporarily.

Their tweets will not be displayed to those who do not follow them, and anything retweeted by their followers will also be hidden. If they attempt to send a tweet to an account that does not follow them, the recipient won’t see it in their notifications tab.

“We’ve detected some potentially abusive behavior from your account, so only your followers can see your activity on Twitter,” reads the warning displayed to rule breakers. It seems the initial ban lasts for 12 hours, but it’s unclear if this is extended for repeat offenders.

Some users, like the one below, are already complaining that they’ve been blocked simply for using words some might deem as offensive. However, Twitter insists it isn’t blocking people arbitrarily for using specific words and phrases.

“A company spokesperson said that its teams look at an account’s behavior as opposed to simply language to determine if it’s being abusive,” explains BuzzFeed.