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Twitter algorithm changes will hide more bad tweets and trolls

Twitter algorithm changes will hide more bad tweets and trolls

It actually sounds pretty simple at first: according to a Twitter blog post Tuesday, the company will simply organize conversations on Twitter differently based on "behavioral signals" created to root out trolls in "communal areas" of the social network.

A Twitter spokesperson told CNN these types of tweets will not be hidden, muted or removed from Twitter because they don't violate its policies. Because the content from users who are behaving badly may not necessarily violate Twitter's policies, it will stay on Twitter, and you'll still be able to see them by clicking on "Show more replies" or opting to see everything in search.

Still, Twitter's discourse is often colored by such tweets, and banning the people involved seems like a good way to open the platform to cries of censorship (well, more open than it is already).

Social media platforms have long struggled to police acceptable content and behavior on their sites, but external pressure on the companies increased significantly following the revelation that a Russian influence operation used the platforms in coordinated campaigns around the 2016 United States election.

The reason that we're doing this is that when we actually looked at where abuse reports were coming from, the majority of reports come in from those two places - from conversations and search.

Among other suspicious behavior, the company is looking out for accounts that don't confirm their email addresses, along with instances of multiple accounts being created simultaneously.

Today we are introducing new behavior-based signals into how Tweets are organized and presented in areas like conversations and search. While still a small overall number, these accounts have a disproportionately large - and negative - impact on people's experience on Twitter. All of these factors - and more - will be taken into account when deciding how visible individual tweets should be.

"These signals will now be considered in how we organise and present content in communal areas like conversation and search". And, while Marvey and Gasca acknowledge their work is far from done, they said early tests are promising.

Twitter acknowledged it expects to make mistakes, and that the system will change, learn and improve over time.

Twitter executives Harvey and Gascam said that the initiative is part of an ongoing attempt "to improve the health of the public conversation on Twitter". However, it does show how much work is being put by the company to get things right. "We are making progress as we go", Dorsey said.

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