Behavioral signals that can identify trolls, according to Twitter, include accounts failing to confirm their email address when they sign up, a person registering several accounts at once, a person repeatedly tweeting at people they don't follow, or joining in a "coordinated attack" with other users.
The company will hide certain replies from conversations and search results in a bid to "improve the health of the conversation" on Twitter. "Some troll-like behaviour is fun, good and humorous". Using a set of signals, the platform will now determine if an account, while not violating Twitter's terms of service, is using "behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation".
"We're also looking at how accounts are connected to those that violate our rules, and how they interact with each other", they explain.
The company has been testing the new methods in markets around the world, and claimed it had seen abuse reports fall as a result, with a 4 per cent drop in reports from searches and an 8 per cent decline in reports from conversations.
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The changes are a part of Twitter's efforts to increase the "health" of its platform. Any of their interactions will be invisible to users unless they press the "show more replies" button under a tweet.
Abusive accounts, according to Dorsey, will be monitored by how often they tweet to someone who does not follow them, whether they have confirmed their email address, and if their language is appropriate. Now, we're tackling issues of behaviors that distort and detract from the public conversation in those areas by integrating new behavioral signals into how Tweets are presented. "Others don't but are behaving in ways that distort the conversation", the company said. And, while Marvey and Gasca acknowledge their work is far from done, they said early tests are promising.
Twitter says that while many posts do not break its rules, many are still be in poor taste or offensive to a large number of users.
In the blog post, Twitter said: "This technology and our team will learn over time and will make mistakes".
This is to improve the health of the conversation and improve everyone's Twitter experience. Our goal is to learn fast and make our processes and tools smarter.