According to Bloomberg, Twitter’s clandestine “Project Guardian” attempts to protect controversial characters and users with huge followings from trolls and haters. According to reports, Twitter keeps a list of thousands of users who are at high risk of abuse, including singers, professional athletes, journalists, and other people who are prominent – even if just temporarily.
According to Bloomberg, when Twitter receives a report of an abusive post relating to one of the accounts on the list, the content moderation staff will respond to that incident first, ahead of all the others. The program’s rationale is that it can prevent negative information from spreading on Twitter, as well as keep notable tweeters content and less inclined to speak out against bullying.
Twitter’s head of site integrity, Yoel Roth, told Bloomberg that the Project Guardian list includes a diverse group of people who aren’t necessarily famous. Users who become involved in viral Twitter controversy may be featured, but only for a limited time. After the 15 seconds of fame have passed, Twitter will remove that individual from Project Guardian, while others will remain on the list indefinitely.
According to Bloomberg, a user may be added to the program if a Twitter employee observes that they are receiving a lot of abusive comments, even if they aren’t aware of it. A high-profile user, on the other hand, may have their manager directly request that Twitter provide extra safety.
Makeup artist James Charles, Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim, and former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb are among those who have previously participated in Project Guardian, according to Bloomberg. Twitter has also utilized the technology to shield journalists covering contentious issues such as the January riots or 8chan.
In addition to Project Guardian, Bloomberg discovered that Twitter prioritizes its answers to user reports based on a number of other characteristics. This comprises the impression of a post, the number of followers the individual in issue has, and if the reported tweet is genuinely detrimental. There is no indication that the program was created in response to a specific incident, but Bloomberg claims that it has been around for at least two years.
Project Guardian, as Bloomberg points out, doesn’t simply safeguard users; it also shields Twitter from negative press. In March, Twitter was chastised for failing to stop bullies from harassing former model Chrissy Teigen on the platform. Teigen was hounded by trolls who falsely claimed she was a member of a celebrity pedophile network conspiracy theory. As a result of the harassment, she left Twitter (although she has since returned). Critics claim that Twitter might have done more to safeguard Teigen, while Teigen has stated that she does not hold Twitter responsible for the outpouring of vitriol.
Twitter has been making rapid-fire improvements to the platform just before this discovery. Twitter has bought messaging company Quill, put out a test to improve the reporting procedure, started testing individual content warnings, and begun experimenting with a TikTok-style “For You” tab in the course of just one day. This flurry of news came in the first week or two after former Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal took over as CEO, replacing Jack Dorsey. Agrawal stated in an interview shortly after taking over that he intends to speed up Twitter’s “execution” and streamline its processes.