Twitter Launches Updated Promts for Offensive Comment Alerts

In 2020, Twitter tested prompts that encouraged people to pause and reconsider a potentially harmful or offensive reply before they hit send.

Based on feedback and learnings from those tests, they have made improvements to the systems that decide when and how these reminders are sent. Twitter rolled these improved prompts out across iOS and Android, starting with accounts that have enabled English-language settings.

With its previous studies, Twitter learned that: 

  • If prompted, 34% of people revised their initial reply or decided to not send their reply at all.
  • After being prompted once, people composed, on average, 11% fewer offensive replies in the future.
  • If prompted, people were less likely to receive offensive and harmful replies back.

Since the early tests, here’s what the social media giant has incorporated into the systems that decide when and how to send these reminders:

  • Consideration of the nature of the relationship between the author and replier, including how often they interact. For example, if two accounts follow and reply to each other often, there’s a higher likelihood that they have a better understanding of preferred tone of communication.
  • Adjustments to our technology to better account for situations in which language may be reclaimed by underrepresented communities and used in non-harmful ways.
  • Improvement to our technology to more accurately detect strong language, including profanity.
  • Created an easier way for people to let us know if they found the prompt helpful or relevant.

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