Twitter has now announced that it will be allowing its users who are facing suspension for a flagged tweet or content to appeal that decision in the mobile application itself. The company says the move is intended to reduce the wait time for shares that have been taken out of context. Its example highlights a tweet in a conversation about a multiplayer video game that has inadvertently been flagged for abusive behavior after talk turned to violent in-game actions.
By allowing users to appeal decisions in the application, the company says it can speed up the process of overturning or confirming suspensions approximately 60-percent faster.
What's this do?
The appeal process itself hasn't changed much but should be much easier to get to and offer up a more universal experience now that it's been placed in the app. The user is notified that they've been suspended or had their account locked and are presented with the material that resulted in the disciplinary action.
Options are provided for rectifying the situation, with the first course of action offering to let the user remove the offending content to lift the ban. Secondary to that, users can click to appeal the decision and will be presented with a box in which to explain the context of the tweet or offer up a defense of its contents. Clicking "Finish" submits the appeal for review.
Users can, of course, cancel the appeal and delete the tweet instead at any time through the process.
Why the need for a faster, better appeal?
Circumstances like the one Twitter is directly addressing in its tweeted announcement are not uncommon. That’s a fact made abundantly clear in the responses to the Twitter Safety team’s unveiling of the tool. Namely, dozens of responses immediately kick off discussion asking whether the introduction of the feature means that somebody they know will be able to have their ban or suspension lifted -- with comments pointing to similar circumstances Twitter is using for its example.
That comes down to the fact that Twitter effectively wastes no time enforcing its rules when those are violated by users -- most of the time. The company doesn't necessarily have time to check the context of the tweet since its goal is to maintain a space where the worst of human behavior cannot be surfaced. Bans have also been instated due to the deliberate spread of misinformation from a wide range of the political spectrum, particularly with regard to bans on fake or troll accounts.
As a result, both bans and suspensions aren't always parceled with a high level of accuracy and the company has summarily faced complaints of instituting biased suspensions, shadowbanning, and other unsavory actions. The introduction of tools to help the Twitter team address appeals more quickly should help alleviate some of those concerns since an untold portion of those accusations could easily stem from how long the process can take and how difficult it can be to start outside of the app.
We move quickly to enforce our rules, but sometimes we don’t have the full context and can make mistakes.
To fix that, we added a way for people to appeal our decision in the app and have been able to get back to people 60% faster than before. pic.twitter.com/0BWBnff9lt
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) April 2, 2019