At last, Twitter has released a new feature that everyone’s been asking for. No, not chronological timelines. And no, they won’t stop showing you those porn star tweets your cousin keeps liking. Instead, Twitter is finally getting rid of the trolls in your replies! Well, they’re not gone; now they’re in the shadows where you can’t see them. Feel safe yet?
Twitter has just announced they will start hiding disruptive accounts from automatically popping up in conversations or search results — putting them “Twitter purgatory,” as it’s already being called. Using a new filtering strategy that looks at a user’s behavioral patterns instead of their actual words, the platform will predict if someone will be “detracting from the conversation,” i.e. trolls and bots. Those disruptive accounts will now be hidden away from other users, making sure people will only have “healthy” conversations — or, seeing as this is Twitter we’re talking about, no conversations at all.
Of course, it’s a good thing to go into your own replies without getting creatively threatened by people with avatars of anime characters or their collection guns resting on their collection of flags. But their ban-proof word vomit is still there, lurking underneath the flimsy “Show more replies” button. So instead of getting rid of the evil, we now have a social media Pandora’s Box, and it’ll be our fault if we unleash those evils into our timeline. Which one of us is supposed be “healthy” enough for the other again? Have you ever met a real person, Twitter? We’ll dive into that pit trap Scrooge-McDuck-style every time.
And that’s the issue with Twitter: They’re making progress, but are still not listening to what their users really want. Twitter even admits to not wanting to actually change the toxic dynamics of their platform. They want to “proactively address these disruptive behaviors that do not violate our policies” without, y’know, actually changing their policies, because then they might have to actually ban their most popular user for threatening an actual nuclear holocaust. It doesn’t feel like caring, but simple economics: Twitter has only just started making a profit again, and a lot of that’s based on increasing their active user base. So they don’t want to get rid of the trolls. They want to keep the trolls. And they to keep want us. So they’ll give trolls their separate space. Except that already existed. It’s called Gab, and it’s the dumpster fire they truly deserve.
Cedric is on Twitter, because it hurts so good.
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