Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Twitter’s clampdown on social media abuse has begun with a new
policy that restricts abusive tweeters.

who violate the rules will have their tweets hidden from
those who don’t follow them — but the restriction won’t last

Twitter has received criticism for years for not doing enough
to tackle offensive tweets, but the company
is finally doing something about it this year with new
policies aimed at taking down persistent trolls. Step one will
see those who tweet abusive messages punished temporarily.

tweets will not be displayed to those who do not follow them,
and anything retweeted by their followers will also be hidden.
If they attempt to send a tweet to an account that does
not follow them, the recipient won’t see it in their
notifications tab.

detected some potentially abusive behavior from your account,
so only your followers can see your activity on Twitter,” reads
the warning displayed to rule breakers. It seems the initial
ban lasts for 12 hours, but it’s unclear if this is extended
for repeat offenders.

users, like the one below, are already complaining that they’ve
been blocked simply for using words some might deem as
offensive. However, Twitter insists it isn’t blocking people
arbitrarily for using specific words and phrases.

“A company
spokesperson said that its teams look at an account’s behavior
as opposed to simply language to determine if it’s being
abusive,” explains BuzzFeed.

(offensive tweeters) may feel Twitter’s new policies are a
violation of free speech. The vast majority will welcome the
crackdown, which will surely make using the service much more

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