Debunking Twitter myths
It all started with one Tweet: just setting up my twttr. Since Twitter launched, our little bird app has become one of the most talked about social platforms. From memes to events to breaking news –– Twitter is where it’s happening and where people are talking about it. Along with a prime spot in the pop culture lexicon, we are prey to some misconceptions about what we do and how we do it. So let’s break down the common questions and comments we get and talk a little about what is fact vs. myth.
Does Twitter shadow ban?
Let’s discuss this one upfront. Simply put, we don’t shadow ban! Ever. We do rank Tweets to create a more relevant experience for you, however, and you’re always able to see Tweets from people you follow. Check out our company blog post for more details.
Why is Twitter so hard to use?
It’s really not, we promise. Sure, there are some advanced tips and tricks out there, but in general, following, Tweeting, replying, Retweeting, and DMing are all you need to master the basics and get a lot out of the platform.
It’s easy to get lost in the Twitterverse.
We get it. Twitter is a big place, and you might feel a little lost from time to time among all the content and opinions. But we have just one word for that: Topics. Designed with you and your interests at heart, they’re a fun and convenient way to make your timeline feel all your own. We’re adding new Topics all the time –– so get browsing and start following your interests!
Twitter doesn’t do anything to combat hate on the platform.
Our rules are designed to ensure people feel safe adding their voice to the public conversation. We enforce those rules, and we know that as our world and its realities evolve, our rules and policies need to adapt in response. For example, based on extensive research and study, we updated our hateful conduct rules to include dehumanizing language. We cannot serve the public conversation if we don’t protect the people that are participating.
How do I know I can trust what’s on Twitter?
We have a responsibility to reduce the spread of potentially harmful misinformation. That’s why we use labels and warning messages to provide additional context and information on Tweets that contain disputed or misleading information, as well as manipulated media.
No humans look at reported Tweets, what’s the point?
Our support team is made up of lovely humans from around the world! Along with a team reviewing reports, we also use technology that aims to proactively detect and flag Tweets that break our rules, before you need to report them.
Twitter censors replies and content.
Our mission at Twitter is to serve the public conversation. We encourage a space that is safe and healthy, and censorship is not a part of our mission or platform. We only suspend an account or ask you to remove content when there is a violation of our rules.
No censorship? But what about hiding replies?
Hidden replies are not censored. In fact, they are just moved from the main conversation, yet still very much accessible. When a Tweet author decides to hide a reply, an icon will appear at the bottom right of the Tweet. Simply tap this icon to view the public replies that were hidden.
Twitter is just a bunch of NSFW content.
There’s a diverse set of content and communities on Twitter. If you’d rather avoid sensitive media, we suggest you update your media settings. Here’s how:
On Android and twitter.com (if you’re on iOS, log in via web and follow the instructions)
- Tap More in the main menu, then Settings and privacy.
- Tap Privacy and safety, check Display media that may contain sensitive content.
Twitter lets trolls do whatever they want.
The internet is a marvel. Sadly, it also comes with its fair share of the not-so-nice. We want people to feel safe on Twitter. Our support team is working hard to reduce the amount of abuse that’s on the platform. Check out our blog post for the progress we’ve made so far.
Twitter lets public figures break rules.
We don’t let public figures break our rules. We might, however, keep a Tweet that has violated our rules available behind a notice and limit engagement when we think it’s of public interest to do so. See a Tweet you believe violates our rules? Please report it to us. We depend on the voice and action of the people who use Twitter to help us keep our conversations healthy and enjoyable.
Twitter suspends the wrong accounts.
Along with leveraging technology, the delightful humans on our support team review what’s reported to us. And because we’re human, we might not always get it right, so we make it easy to file an appeal when someone thinks their account was suspended or locked by mistake.
Twitter is full of bots.
There’s a lot to unpack here. And it starts with acknowledging that there’s often a very wide definition range of what a “bot” actually is. Our blog post discusses this misunderstood term and how it ties into our critical work focused on platform manipulation. Give it a read!