What is Twitter's stance toward abuse?

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  • Updated 7 years ago

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What is Twitter's stance toward abuse? That is, when does Twitter take action to remove or freeze accounts and why?
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Jason Goldman, Official Rep

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  • curious

Posted 8 years ago

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Photo of Jason Goldman

Jason Goldman, Official Rep

  • 180 Posts
  • 171 Reply Likes
Official Response
Twitter is a recipient-driven communication utility; you choose what appears in your timeline. To this end, we offer tools designed to give you more control over your experience using Twitter. For example, with the block tool, you have the option of preventing your content from being delivered to other people's timelines.

There are areas where we can improve our tools. For example, the track feature does not currently obey the block list, but it should. And we're actively working to prevent abuse by spammers of the "new follower" email notices.

Our goal is to provide tools that allow people to enjoy the Twitter service in the way that makes sense to them. To achieve this goal, we need to curtail abuses that impair our ability to provide this service.

Content and Abuse

As a communication utility, Twitter does not get involved in disputes between users over issues of content except in very specific situations. Twitter is a provider of information, not a mediator. Specific physical threats, certain legal obligations, privacy breaches of specific types of information (e.g. SSN, credit cards), and misleading impersonation are some cases where we may become involved and potentially terminate an account.

Overall, we hold ourselves responsible for building tools that allow our users to control their own experience. Twitter is not a judge for resolving disputes over most content issues—our focus is on service.

Technical Abuse and SPAM

While our policy regarding content is mostly hands-off, we are strictly intolerant toward those who would subvert our intention to provide a utility for recipient-driven communication. Twitter will terminate accounts for a variety of technical abuse violations.

That includes the above-mentioned follower spam problem as well as other means that degrade our service. For example, our service is degraded through the cross-posting of updates from multiple accounts as a way to get around the block and unfollow tools.

Note: We have been paying close attention to these issues and as a result we are in the process of reviewing our Terms of Service. Our goal is to align our Terms of Service with the concerns of our users with an eye towards what we intend to enforce. We are also working to make this process more transparent.