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Twitter is trying to fix its process for reported tweets with a new system

Twitter states that the new process will lift the burden of interpreting the violation from the individual who is reporting the tweet. Instead, the new system will ask them what happened.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
December 9, 2021 10:48:30 am
Twitter, Twitter reporting a tweet, Twitter report a tweet, how to report tweets, Twitter policies, Twitter violation of policiesTwitter is looking at a new process for reporting tweets. (Image source: Twitter)

Twitter is finally taking note that its reporting process for tweets which often leaves users frustrated. It is now overhauling its reporting process and claims this will make it easier for users to report harmful behaviour on the platform. In a blog post, Twitter states that the new process will lift the burden of interpreting the violation from the individual who is reporting the tweet. Instead, the new system will ask them what happened and the system will then try to interpret the violation.

However, the new process is currently being tested only with a small group of users in the US.

According to the blog post, Twitter admits that it receives millions of reports on everything from harassment to hate speech, and based on user feedback, research, it was clear that the process “wasn’t making enough people feel safe or heard.”

Currently, if you want to report a tweet, Twitter will straight up ask why you are reporting it, and what policy violation is taking place. But in the new system and based on the image shared by the platform, the reporting process appears to go into more details, asking a user who they feel is being attacked by the tweet and exactly how the offending tweet is doing this.

The interpretation of whether it is hateful content or misinformation is not something the user has to decide at the beginning of this new process.

When a person is reporting a violation in the new process, Twitter will present them with the Terms of Service violation they think might have occurred after asking them what has gone wrong, who is being attacked, how, and in what way. For instance, if it thinks that the user is reporting a hate speech, it will say so.

If this interpretation is not correct, the person reporting the tweet can say so in order to “help signal to Twitter that there are still some gaps in the reporting system,” explains the blog.

Twitter says while the user is reporting it is constantly collecting “feedback and compiling learnings from this chain of events that will help them fine-tune the process and connect symptoms to actual policies.”

The blog post quotes Brian Waismeyer, a data scientist on the health user experience team that spearheaded this new process, as saying, “In moments of urgency, people need to be heard and feel supported. Asking them to open the medical dictionary and saying, ‘point to the one thing that’s your problem’ is something people aren’t going to do. If they’re walking in to get help, what they’re going to do well is describe what is happening to them at the moment.”

Twitter admits that when a user wants to report something, it is likely because they have “experienced or witnessed something unsettling and that this is a difficult time to ask them to figure out exactly which policy might have been violated.”  Further, in some cases, the reported tweet might not have broken a rule per se, but just bent it.

Renna Al-Yassini, Senior UX Manager on the team added in the blog post that many of the people reporting tweets “fall within a much larger gray spectrum that doesn’t meet the specific criteria of Twitter violations,” but that users report these because they find them “deeply problematic and highly upsetting.”

Twitter says it wants to refocus the experience on the person reporting the tweet in order to improve the quality of reports they get. The redesigned experience will ask for more first-hand information about “how people are experiencing certain content,” in order to ensure that Twitter is more “precise” when addressing the issue.

Twitter also notes that in every part of the research and design process, the team intentionally included people from marginalised communities — such as women, people of colour, and people from the LGBTQ+ community, including those who identify as trans or nonbinary. It is hoped that by designing for the outliers, they will be able to solve for the majority.

It designed the new process with these users in mind “because they also happen to be some of the platform’s most engaged users.” It should be noted that these are also the communities that face the most amount of trolling, harassment, and often threats on any social media platform.

The process will roll out to a wider audience next year and the social media platform will continue to work on “improving its communication process, ensuring that it’s closing the loop with those who are taking the time to report.”

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