Twitter Is Responding to ‘Potentially Abusive Behavior’ With 12-Hour Time-Outs

During that 12-hour period, only followers of those users’ accounts can see their Twitter activity

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If you misbehave on Twitter, the social network may make you sit in the corner for 12 hours.

Several Twitter users have shared screenshots of warning messages issued by the social network, alerting them about “potentially abusive behavior” and limiting “certain account features” for 12 hours.

During that 12-hour period, only followers of those users’ accounts can see their Twitter activity.

The messages from Twitter read:

We’ve temporarily limited some of your account features.

What’s going on?

Creating a safer environment for people to freely express themselves is critical to the Twitter community, so if behavior that may violate the Twitter Rules is detected, certain account features become limited. We’ve detected some potentially abusive behavior from your account, so only your followers can see your activity on Twitter for the amount of time shown below. Your account will be restored to full functionality in: 12 hours and 0 minutes.

The countdown will begin once you continue to Twitter.

Twitter provided further explanation in a section on one of its support articles:

Some of your account features are temporarily limited.

Conversations are core to Twitter, but if we detect behavior that may violate the Twitter Rules or inhibit other people’s ability to express themselves freely, we may temporarily limit certain account features. For example, this could mean only your followers are able see your activity on Twitter, including tweets, likes, retweets, etc. Limiting the reach of potentially abusive content creates a safer environment and stronger Twitter community.

When you log in and see this message, click or tap “Continue to Twitter” to initiate the countdown to restore your account features. You can read more about Twitter’s abusive behavior policy here and find guidelines for our hateful conduct policy here.

UPDATED: A Twitter spokesperson emailed the following statement to Social Pro Daily:

We’re approaching safety with a sense of urgency. As such, we will be rolling out a number of product changes in the coming days and weeks. Some will be immediately visible, while others will be more targeted to specific scenarios. We will update you along the way and continue to test, learn and iterate on these changes to evaluate their effectiveness. You can expect to see meaningful progress in this area.

Late last month, Twitter vice president of engineering Ed Ho promised in a series of tweets that the social network would roll out “long overdue fixes to mute/block and stop repeat offenders from creating new accounts.”

Ho made good on his promise last week, introducing a safe search tool that removes content from blocked or muted users from search results, collapsing tweets that are “potentially abusive and low-quality” and banning repeat offenders.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Twitter’s 12-hour punishments?

Image on homepage courtesy of MachineHeadz/iStock. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
Publish date: February 16, 2017 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT