Last December, Twitter conducted a limited test in the US for a new Report Tweet feed, designed to improve the process for reporting offensive or dangerous content on the site by adding more options to explain whatever the issue is. The test worked: the number of actionable reports increased by 50%, leading Twitter to remove more bad stuff. Now, Twitter is using that learning to update the feature globally: the new Report Tweet update is rolling out globally.
From our testing, it appears that it is still only in English and has not enabled any localized versions of the report that might address issues that are more common in one region than another. (We reached out to Twitter to ask if either of these issues will be addressed in the future.)
The change comes at a key time for the company. Content moderation has been a huge headache for social media companies, and they’ve faced federal investigations in several countries to scrutinize their efforts.
Many moderators hired under contract do not work in safe conditions and must go through several posts in an hour. And the format of the report submitted for a message may not help them give the full context of the situation, forcing them to ignore the report or take the wrong action.
On top of all that, Twitter in particular has faced a lot of headaches over this. Not only is it a go-to platform for many when it comes to hot takes – a honeypot when it comes to trolls and offensive comments in general – but the company is regularly criticized for being slow to respond. to people’s complaints, both those related to reporting tweets, or making any sort of updates to the Twitter product itself.
But Twitter – currently in the midst of a potential acquisition process that has in part exposed suspicious content and accounts hosted on the platform, and which itself could lead to a significant change in its moderation policies – wants us to know he’s On It.
The new Report a Tweet process allows you to provide more context when reporting a tweet. In the previous reporting flow, you had limited choices in terms of categories describing why a post should be removed and who it is. And it was focusing more on you to figure out which rule a tweet might break.
Twitter’s new reporting process better guides you by allowing you to give more information about how a tweet might affect someone. Additionally, you can select multiple options to frame the context of the allegedly abusive tweet. Each screen contains a detailed description of the step and the options available on that page.
At the end of the process, Twitter summarizes your complaint to indicate which rule the reported tweet might violate. If you think this is the wrong rule, you can select another rule. Additionally, Twitter also allows you to provide additional context through a text box.
The update should make reporting much easier for more people. For one thing, the previous incarnation of the experience proved annoying for people to figure out which policy a tweet might violate when they might have seen something upsetting or want to report harassment.
“What can be frustrating and complex about reporting is that we enforce the rules based on violations of the Terms of Service as defined by the Twitter Rules. The vast majority of what people report is in a much broader gray spectrum that doesn’t meet the specific criteria for Twitter violations, but they still report what they’re experiencing as deeply problematic and very upsetting,” said Renna, Senior UX Manager Al-Yassini. said in december.
The company said it worked with different designers, researchers, and writers to thoughtfully create this new stream. With this change, Twitter plans to use this new reporting data to identify more trends and categories of harassment and spam.
The effectiveness of the new process will be tested when people from different geographies and different cultural backgrounds use it to try to justify whether a tweet is abusive.
Twitter’s new reporting process is available on iOS, Android and the web.