Twitter’s secretive “Project Guardian” goals to defend controversial characters and customers with giant followings from an onslaught of trolls and haters, in keeping with a report by Bloomberg. The platform reportedly maintains an inventory of hundreds of customers that Twitter deems excessive threat for harassment, which incorporates musicians, skilled athletes, journalists, and different customers who’re notably outstanding — even when only for the second.

Bloomberg notes that when Twitter receives a report of an abusive submit associated to an account on the listing, Twitter’s content material moderation crew will reply to that report sooner than all the opposite ones it has lined up. The pondering behind this system is that Twitter can forestall dangerous content material from spreading, in addition to hold outstanding tweeters content material and fewer more likely to communicate out about bullying on the platform.

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of website integrity, advised Bloomberg that an array of customers make up its Mission Guardian listing, and so they don’t need to be celebrities. Customers who get caught up in viral Twitter drama can also be included, however sometimes solely briefly. As soon as the 15 seconds of fame wears off, Twitter will take away that consumer from Mission Guardian, whereas others have a extra everlasting place on the listing. As Bloomberg states, a consumer might get added to this system when a Twitter worker notices that they’re seeing giant volumes of hateful messages, even when that consumer doesn’t notice it. Then again, a high-profile consumer might even have their supervisor personally ask Twitter to supply extra safety.

In accordance with Bloomberg, some customers enrolled in Mission Guardian up to now embody make-up artist James Charles, Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim, in addition to former US Meals and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Twitter has additionally used this system to guard journalists who cowl controversial matters, just like the January riots or 8chan.

Along with Mission Guardian, Bloomberg discovered that Twitter makes use of a number of different elements to prioritize its responses to consumer stories. This features a submit’s impression, what number of followers the consumer in query has, in addition to whether or not or not the reported tweet is definitely dangerous. There seems to be no indication {that a} specific incident sparked the creation of this system, however Bloomberg says that it would’ve been round for 2 years or extra.

As Bloomberg factors, Mission Guardian doesn’t simply defend customers; it additionally protects Twitter from dangerous PR. In March, Twitter got here beneath hearth for its incapability to tame the bullies that bombarded former mannequin Chrissy Teigen. Trolls focused Teigen by making unfounded claims she was a part of a conspiracy concept that entails a celeb pedophile ring. She stop Twitter because of the bullying (though she has since returned). Critics argue that Twitter may’ve achieved extra to guard Teigen, though Teigen herself stated she didn’t blame the platform for the barrage of abuse.

Simply earlier than this revelation, Twitter has been making rapid-fire modifications to the platform. Within the span of simply sooner or later, Twitter has acquired messaging platform Quill, rolled out a take a look at to vary the reporting course of, started piloting particular person content material warnings, and began experimenting with a TikTok-style “For You” tab. This spurt of bulletins has come within the first week or so after former Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal changed Jack Dorsey as CEO. In an interview shortly after Agrawal took over, he stated he hopes to hasten Twitter’s “execution” and streamline its operations.


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