Twitter reverted its latest anti-abuse feature mere hours after introducing it on Monday due to a lot of negative feedback from users. The feature was related to Twitter Lists as the San Francisco-based company introduced a change that prevents users from knowing when they're added to a List. Given how Lists can feature offensive titles and be created by anyone, the social media giant thought it would be helpful if people weren't aware when they're added to such a user-curated compilation of content. However, users disagreed, as evidenced by a lot of public criticism that followed. Twitter users were arguing that this feature doesn't prevent abuse but merely makes people unaware that they're being targeted and offered a lot of alternatives to Twitter's anti-abuse measure. Due to that turn of events, the San Francisco-based social media giant quickly reverted the change. Twitter's Vice President of Engineering Ed Ho apologized for the "misstep" and thanked everyone who took the time to send feedback.
While it's commendable that Twitter reacted to user feedback in a timely manner, the fact that the company even introduced such a controversial change in the first place doesn't suggest Twitter has developed an effective strategy to combat online abuse like Ho previously claimed. On the other hand, the popular social network recently introduced some other changes that were better received by users. Earlier this month, the company started hiding abusive tweets and low-quality content while promising it's revamping its search engine to do the same, and many users welcomed these changes.
Twitter was previously criticized for not doing enough to handle online abuse which is why the company promised to do better in 2017. However, as evidenced by the short-lived feature outlined above, the company is still trying to come up with an effective strategy of fulfilling that promise. Twitter's critics are quick to point out that anti-abuse measures should have already been developed a long time ago when the social network was still recording high user acquisition numbers. As things stand right now, the company's online community doesn't adhere to strict policies because none existed for years and that could prove to be a massive problem for Twitter going forward.