Twitter is putting online bullies in “time-out.” As one of the company’s many new anti-abuse measures, users whose accounts have been identified engaging in abusive behavior will have the reach of their tweets temporarily restricted. During this time, the abuser’s tweets will only be shown to their followers, Twitter says.
Twitter recently updates its website to explain that the temporary time-outs are intended to create a “safer environment” on the social network:
“Conversations are core to Twitter, but if we detect behavior that may violate the Twitter Rules or inhibit other people’s ability to express themselves freely, we may temporarily limit certain account features. For example, this could mean only your followers are able see your activity on Twitter, including Tweets, likes, Retweets, etc. Limiting the reach of potentially abusive content creates a safer environment and stronger Twitter community.”
The company hasn’t officially explained how it’s determining which accounts deserve to be temporarily restricted or totally suspended, but Twitter did say that the company looks at the overall context of an account’s behavior rather than just potentially offensive keywords.
For example, if an account was constantly tweeting abusive language at another account that didn’t follow them, Twitter could interpret that behavior as abuse and worthy of a time-out.