What would it be like if Twitter were free of harassment, bullying and hate speech?
Freeing the platform of bullying, misinformation and hate speech was Twitter’s goal for the past year since it started working against its toxic user base. They managed to expand the rules for identifying fake accounts and they have been trying out ways to start positive conversations prompting users to answer questions about themselves.
Thursday, Twitter reported that its number of monthly active users fell in the fourth quarter, compared to the third quarter. The number decreased due to Twitter’s efforts to eliminate fake accounts, bullies, and trolls and create a safer environment for its worldwide users. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, stated:
“We enter this year confident that we will continue to deliver strong performance by focusing on making Twitter a healthier and more conversational service.”
He also stated the Twitter is targeting four major things: to make the network more conversational, to offer advertisers a clear and strong appeal, to encourage healthy conversations, and to develop the platform’s technology.
The effort of cleaning out its network of toxic users comes from the need to show investors and advertisers that Twitter is a safe environment and can attract new people to the platform whilst competing against tech giants like Facebook and Google. Even so, Twitter was still previously blamed for not doing enough against online abuse aimed at female journalists and politicians.
The social network has also been the place where Russian trolls spread fake news to influence public opinion ahead of worldwide elections. Last year they also suspended malicious accounts tied to Iran, Russia, Bangladesh, and Venezuela.