Twitter is testing a new method that allows users to report tweets that may violate the rules of social media platforms. Frankly, it was surprising that the company took so long to try it out.
Traditionally, Twitter has forced users who want to report tweets to choose between various confusing lists of rules. Twitter’s new system that currently tests a small number of users in the United States allows people to simply explain why they think this tweet is offensive without being an expert on Twitter’s terms of service.
As Twitter explained on the company blog Tuesday:
This method is called symptom first, that is, Twitter first asks the person what happened. This is the analogy used by the team: suppose you are in a medical emergency. If you break your leg, the doctor won’t tell you, is your leg broken? They said, where does it hurt? The idea is to first let us try to find out what happened instead of letting you diagnose the problem.
“In times of emergency, people need to be heard and feel supported. Ask them to open the medical dictionary and say,’One thing that points out your problem’ is something that people won’t do,” a Twitter data scientist who is working on the new report feature Brian Waismeyer said in a statement. Statement posted online.
“If they walk in and ask for help, all they have to do is describe what is happening to them right now,” Waismeyer continued.
The moderator of this social media company will now be responsible for explaining Twitter’s rules, which makes more sense at the end of the day. It sounds like Twitter will use this new open system to learn and adapt to this process:
Once the person reporting the violation describes what happened, Twitter will show them what they think may be a violation of the terms of service. At this time, Twitter will ask: Is this right? If not, the person can say so, which will help signal Twitter that there are still some gaps in the reporting system.
Twitter has been collecting feedback and lessons learned from this series of events, which will help them fine-tune the process and link symptoms to actual policies. Ultimately, it helps Twitter to take appropriate action.
The team’s senior user experience manager, Renna Al-Yassini, said in a statement: “The report is frustrating and complicated, and we enforce it in accordance with the terms of service violation defined by Twitter’s rules.”
“The vast majority of what people report falls into a larger gray area and does not meet the specific criteria for Twitter violations, but they are still reporting the problems they experience because they have serious problems and are very frustrating.”
I hope this experiment can end the test as soon as possible and enter the real world. Also, it’s surprising that it took so long for Twitter to launch something that no longer makes users responsible for figuring out the details of Twitter’s rules.