In-App Appeal Resolves Suspension Faster, Twitter Claims

Twitter In-App Appeal

Twitter users who get suspended for violating guidelines and conduct procedures can now appeal directly inside the app; a new feature that the company says will give a solution to the previous longer waiting time it takes before getting a response.

The social media giant unveiled the feature on Tuesday in a tweet that showed how a recently suspended user goes through the steps of filing an appeal. The goal here is to maintain a steady relationship between users and the company without violating any rules and procedures conducted by Twitter. Furthermore, the new app will give a democratic response to users by not curtailing its right to express, but give them a secure avenue that does not tolerate wrongful behavior.

In the previous process, after a user tweet something that gets reported or surpasses what the company deems constitutional, Twitter moderators decides whether or not your account deserves to be suspended. Users who believed that Twitter’s action was unnecessary, had to resort to an online form, and response times usually varied from a few hours to more than a week depending on the offense.

Twitter claims that its new in-app reporting feature will cut down response time by 60 percent. If Twitter decides you broke its rules, you will then receive a notification together with the content in question, the law in violation, and a link to its guidelines. You will have a choice of either removing your tweet totally or apply for an appeal. If you choose the appeal process, a write-in box appears that lets you add any context that the moderators may have missed. This means that you have the power to explain your point or defend your thoughts on the matter.

The in-app appeal process is part of a larger effort by Twitter to be more transparent about how it conducts harmful behavior. Over the past years, the company has been bombarded by a lot of issues especially on the rampant abuse that pervades on its platform. It confessed that it was a struggle for the social media giant to get a hold on the abusive users who proliferate violence, bullying, and threat among others.

Although Twitter is finally getting more active in implementing its terms and policies, others are questioning the appealing feature. They expressed that the appeal process is another manifestation of Twitter to control its users, especially on sensitive topics like politics, gender issues, and terrorism. This is an app where people used to express their opinions and side of the story about problems that are mostly forgotten, but what happened to it? Twitter has been the most reliable and most robust media platform before, generating tweets which allow users to discuss hot issues every now and then freely; but those days are gone.

Some challenged the moderators’ way on detecting tweets which they deem wrongful or against its rule. Looking at the terms and policies of the company, one has to agree that it is too broad which can be simplified first, so an average person understands the draw line between what’s acceptable to post or not. The problem is, if a normal person tweets and suddenly gets flagged by Twitter without even understanding the latter’s terms, chances are, that particular individual may resort to an appeal and choose to remove the content in question, so his or her account recovers. That situation alone becomes a problem because one needs to know the cause of his or her violation before jumping into the solution.

Some tactics are also explored by Twitter including changing its algorithm to rank the health of conversations and purging accounts by white nationalists and other hate groups. As Twitter ramps up its enforcement efforts, more benign behavior will get swept up in the process. The new feature will surely be of advantage for innocent users to make a fast return online, but they need to comprehend why enforcement actions were taken.

The in-app feature of Twitter is a preventive way to deal with violence and obscenity that pervade on its platform. But if Twitter wants a free-speech and violence-free platform, it needs to simplify the terms and policies first so everyone can fully understand the limitation of their tweets. The appeal process should clarify things and not complicate it. Twitter should cultivate a culture of people who question and understand things, not tolerate idiocy among its users

Photo: marek.sotak

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