Twitter is bringing some much-needed clarity to its reporting process. In an update outlined this morning on the company’s blog, Twitter will now clearly highlight when a reported tweet had an enforcement action taken against it. The goal, writes Twitter product manager Sam Toizer, is to help the public understand when a rule-breaking tweet was forcibly taken down and not just simply deleted by the user due to backlash.
“Now, once we’ve required a Tweet to be deleted, we will display a notice stating that the Tweet is unavailable because it violated the Twitter Rules along with a link to the Rules and an article that provides more detail on how we enforce our rules,” writes Toizer. “This notice will be displayed on both the account’s profile and the specific Tweet for 14 days after the Tweet is deleted.” Twitter says the change will go into effect some time in the next few weeks. Here’s what that will look like:
In addition to that added transparency, Twitter is also making an effort to improve the experience of using the service after you’ve reported a tweet. Starting today, Twitter will automatically hide tweets you report behind a notice that simply reads, “You reported this tweet,” while tapping a button next to the prompt will reveal the tweet so long as it hasn’t been taken down by the company.
Twitter is still grappling with how to balance free speech and harassment and other violations of its rules, with the company trying and largely failing in the (maybe quixotic) quest to find an appropriate middle ground that will please everyone. While Twitter has admitted it’s far from solving all its issues around abuse, the company has been making progress lately in providing users with more tools to tailor their experience and more ways to drown out hate and screen it from ever showing up in your feed.
In a conversation with Wired editor-in-chief Nick Thompson on Monday, CEO Jack Dorsey said he sees Twitter as a public square that he and his employees are the stewards of. In his opinion, that involves making hard choices that don’t overstep boundaries while still maintaining an environment that is inviting to as many people as possible. “We can only stand for freedom of expression if people feel safe to express themselves in the first place,” he said. “A lot of people come to Twitter and they don’t see a service. They see what looks like a public square and they have the same expectation as they have of a public square, and that is what we have to get right.”