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Eye of Riyadh
Technology & IT | Tuesday 26 November, 2019 12:41 am |

Twitter launches MENA region’s first safety awareness campaign

Twitter has today launched the region’s first safety awareness campaign, under the name of #حملة_تويتر_للسلامة (Twitter’s safety campaign) with a focus on helping people to identify and report spam. The campaign comes as Twitter continues to prioritize the health of public conversation by helping  people find credible information and feel safe participating in online conversations.


Twitter shared a series of videos in Arabic on its account @TwitterMENA which aims to educate people about how to better identify spam on the platform and report spammy behavior.


The campaign provides a range of tips and techniques to help people identify fake accounts, as well as spammy Tweet and hashtag behavior. Improvements by Twitter to make it easier for people to specify what type of spam they see when reporting have also been highlighted. This includes how they can select from a variety of options such as “Using the reply function to spam” and “The account Tweeting this is fake”. It also explains how people can report trends in-app by tapping on a trend from the Trending section and selecting “This trend is spam”.


The campaign also highlighted Twitter’s proactive efforts to combat spam, by using machine learning to surface content for human review. If Twitter detects sudden changes in account behavior (for example Tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies), it “challenges” the account by locking it until the account owner confirms that they still have control to it. Here’s a summary of some key figures:

  • Twitter has challenged 291 million accounts for spammy behavior between July 2018 and June 2019
  • It has also challenged 50% fewer accounts for spammy behavior in the first half of 2019 versus the second half of 2018, suggesting fewer people are having spammy interactions.
  • Approximately 75% of the accounts being challenged are failing these tests and are ultimately suspended.


“Improving the health of the public conversation is Twitter’s number one priority as a company,” said George Salama, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, MENA, Twitter. “Twitter’s proactive technology has been substantially reducing the burden on people to report violating Tweets. We are constantly working to improve how we leverage technology to tackle spammy behavior at speed, but we also know that we need to do more to educate people about the safety tools that people can avail of. By raising public awareness of these tools, as well as sharing tips and techniques to help identify spam, we hope to improve the health of peoples’ experiences on the platform more generally.”


Twitter has made a number of key changes in 2019 to help tackle spammy behavior. Earlier this year, it changed the number of accounts that people can follow each day from 1,000 to 400 to deter spammy behavior. In June, it simplified the Twitter Rules to make them easier to understand while in September, it expanded its policies to prohibit financial scams.


As well as clarifying  Twitter’s Rules, and better awareness of spam reporting tools, the video campaign aims to increase awareness around how people can ensure that their Tweets and accounts remain on the platform. 

Salama continued: “We enforce the Twitter rules impartially for all people on the platform. Some people might be violating our rules and not aware of what they are in the first place. In addition to refreshing our rules back in June, we wanted to create a campaign to simplify some of our rules that will make it even easier for people to understand. For instance, some may assume that sharing gory pictures is acceptable if they are shared by a bystander, but this actually violates our rules. People can’t share media that’s excessively gory as it violates our safety rules. We trust that by raising more awareness of our rules and reporting systems, people in MENA who use Twitter will have a healthier, quality experience and feel like they can freely and safely participate in the public conversation.” Salama said. 


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