Twitter eats itself

It’s fascinating to watch Twitter wage war on its raison d’etre:

Twitter is taking another step forward in ensuring that its service is a safe place to be. The company today announced that it’s giving everyone access to its quality filter, which automatically screens out tweets from suspicious accounts and hopefully will minimize or eliminate abuse from taking place on the platform.

Users will also now have the ability to limit which notifications they receive across both mobile and the web.

During the company’s second quarter earnings call, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey responded to complaints around harassment, bullying, and abuse that seemed to be running rampant on the service. He acknowledged that Twitter hadn’t done enough, but promised that it was working on not only improving enforcement of its policies, but also developing new technological solutions to combat the hate.

The launch of this feature to everyone comes on the heels of a critical report by BuzzFeed alleging a lack of concern Twitter has displayed toward harassment. The company has since responded to the article claiming that it’s not factual and “We are going to continue our work on making Twitter a safer place.”

As for notifications, you can now select to receive notifications from just those you follow.

The thing is, if you just mind your business and simply mute or block anyone you don’t want to see, there isn’t a problem. I give people two chances to demonstrate they’ve got something substantive to say, and once I determine that they’re too stupid or too argumentative to bother, I mute them and move on.

So, given that it’s already quite easy to avoid any significant or persistent unpleasantries, what Twitter is trying to do is effectively impossible. They’re trying to make it a place that will feel sufficiently safe to users who are going out of their way to interact with people they don’t know while avoiding any criticism from them.

People have been asking about Big Fork. It’s going well. Figure an announcement within 5 weeks.