Twitter Explained the Process Behind Safety Policy Changes

The social network outlined factors that go into decisions on policy changes

The nuts and bolts behind Twitter safety policy decisions hocus-focus/iStock

Twitter followed up last week’s schedule of upcoming safety updates with an explanation of the decision-making behind its policy changes.

The social network said in a Twitter Safety blog post that factors that go into decisions about policy changes include:

  • Trends in online behavior.
  • Clear language to keep users informed about what is and isn’t allowed.
  • Guidelines enabling reviewers to enforce new policies “across millions of tweets.”
  • Feedback from various teams at Twitter, as well as its Trust and Safety Council.
  • Input from around the world in order to determine how to enforce new policies with “different cultural and social contexts” in mind.
  • Testing with samples of tweets that may violate the new policies.
  • Training of global review teams.
  • Finalizing the policy update.

Twitter Safety wrote: “Making a policy change requires in-depth research around trends in online behavior, developing language that sets expectations around what’s allowed and reviewer guidelines that can be enforced across millions of tweets. Once drafted, we gather feedback from our teams and Trust and Safety Council. We gather input from around the world so that we can consider diverse, global perspectives around the changing nature of online speech, including how our rules are applied and interpreted in different cultural and social contexts. We then test the proposed rule with samples of potentially abusive tweets to measure the policy effectiveness, and once we determine that it meets our expectations, build and operationalize product changes to support the update. Finally, we train our global review teams, update the Twitter rules and start enforcing it.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.