Twitter on Evaluating Abusive Behavior: Context Is Key

The social network also updated its policy on self-harm and suicide

Twitter is focusing on behavioral signals when reviewing potential spammy accounts bombuscreative/iStock

As promised last month, the latest update to the Twitter rules is aimed at providing more clarity on why those rules are enforced.

The social network said in a Twitter Safety blog post Friday that context “is crucial when evaluating abusive behavior and determining appropriate enforcement actions,” adding that examples of context include whether the behavior was targeted, if and by whom reports were filed and if the tweet is newsworthy and in the public interest.

Twitter added that it will expand on this topic in a separate update Nov. 14.

The social network also updated its policy on self-harm and suicide, writing, “We’ve always shared resources with people experiencing suicidal or self-harming thoughts when we learn of such behavior and removed any tweets that encourage or promote suicide games.”

Twitter is also taking steps to more clearly define spam, saying that when it reviews accounts “that demonstrate spam-like behavior,” it focuses on behavioral signals, and not on the accuracy of the content they share.

Finally, the sections on graphic violence and adult content were updated, along with the media policy Help Center page, and Twitter said the latter will occur again Nov. 22 to deal with hateful imagery. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.