Twitter has recently introduced an anti-harassment feature in the form of a “sensitive account” system. What this does is flag some users’ profiles for containing potentially “sensitive” content. This covers the entire profile and others users need to click on an option if they want to keep on seeing that specific profile or not. A Twitter team member said that this is still a test which has the purpose to keep users safe from potentially dangerous profiles. The basic idea behind this concept is good. It is basically a curtain between the dangerous world of the Internet and the more sensitive population. However, it does not seem to be working quite well.
Not working very well
According to many reports, Twitter blocked lots of users’ profiles for being a potential threat. What is more upsetting is that fact that those users did not even know about this until other people told them. There are numerous examples of this, where users found out from other sources that nobody could see their profile.
— Ariel Bogle (@arielbogle) March 9, 2017
Are you saying that my account is marked as “sensitive”?
— This is not here. (@ExiledEnnui) March 9, 2017
For some time, Twitter had a similar system which flagged potentially dangerous tweets. The platform was making that particular tweet grey until the user clocked on it to reveal its content. However, there is a big problem if Twitter does not announce the person about the blocking of their profile.
Why are some profiles blocked?
As for the reason why some profiles receive this treatment, nobody knows it for the moment. There is also another issue. According to some other users, some profiles appear blocked only when using a web browser or when the person is not logged in. Others have said that on the mobile app, Twitter does not allow users to mark particular tweets as sensitive.
However, as usually, there are people who read too much into anything and who have said that the platform only blocks pro-Trump profiles. For now, users should know that Twitter is just testing some new anti-harassment features and that all this is temporary. Twitter is not going to block profiles forever. Still, the company should have announced what they were planning to do. Especially because it is one of the platforms which many accused of promoting online bullying and helping terrorists communicate.
This new test naturally sparked waves of controversies. Moreover, people were feeling like they were getting tricked and some accused Twitter of a lack of transparency. Users even tweeted CEO Jack Dorsey and asked him what was going on. We do not know if they received an answer, but one thing is certain: Twitter wants to fight online harassment at all costs. Unfortunately, the company might not always have the best solution for it.
I notice that anyone whose account is pro-Trump is coming up as ‘sensitive material’ on Twitter. We have a snow(flake) storm.
— New Crusader (@CrusaderNew) March 9, 2017
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