Just a week after releasing a trio of tools aimed at dealing with abuse and trolls, Twitter is temporarily limiting the reach of certain messages deemed to be abusive.
When a user is hit with the restriction, they are alerted via email from Twitter that informs them that some features of their Twitter experience have been disabled. Or, if someone retweets a tweet from a punished account, the retweet won't show up to users not following the account.
Several users who are temporarily restricted by Twitter have tweeted screenshots of messages they've received saying that they had violated the company's content rules. The company has boasted about being the "free-speech wing of the free-speech party" and talked about how the service helped free Egypt during the Arab Spring.
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As The Verge noted in its report on the new anti-abuse measure, the kind of restriction that Twitter has implemented with its latest move has a long history on the social web, where it is often referred to as a "shadow ban".
The restrictions are limited in some cases, lasting for 12 hours for a first offense. But even when stealth bans have been employed, users nearly always found out about them anyway, either from friends or by noticing that they weren't getting as many replies as usual.
The countdown will begin once you continue to Twitter.
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What this essentially means is that people outside the offender's network of followers will not be able to see their tweets.
How this will affect Twitter's user growth remains to be seen, but investors have been vocal in their concerns for the platform's future, with one market analyst recently describing it as being in the midst of an "identity crisis". People experiencing abuse online argued that this was a bad solution since it prevented people from seeing if they were being added to a list of possible harassment targets.
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