Twitter's New Time Out for Bad Behavior

Time outTwitter has been acting more and more aggressively against users who behave badly on the site with new rules for what's acceptable and what's not. Now, the company has started giving users a "time out" when tweets violate those rules. Actions may include limiting post views to followers. As the guidelines say, "Limiting the reach of potentially abusive content creates a safer environment and stronger Twitter community." Twitter timeout

Some users have complained about the practice, feeling that one word has gotten them into the dog house, but a Business Insider article interviewed an executive who gave a more holistic view of the decision process:

"A spokesperson declined to explain how Twitter determines if an account deserves to be temporarily restricted or totally suspended, but did say that the company looks at the overall context of an account's behavior rather than just potentially offensive keywords. So if an account repeatedly tweets offensive things to other accounts that don't follow back, Twitter could interpret that behavior as abuse and worthy of a time-out."

A page on Twitter's website explains five reasons to understand why "I'm seeing a message that my account is locked or limited": security purposes, account validation, rule violations, suspicious activity, or temporarily limited features, which is the latest addition.

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  • The decision to temporarily block reach could be tricky. What criteria do you think Twitter will use to determine whether this action is appropriate?
  • In what ways will this new step be effective, and how might it fall short?