The idea behind these tips is to use psychological techniques to help people make better decisions about what they post. Research shows that the introduction of such prompts can lead people to edit and cancel posts they would otherwise regret.
Twitter's own tests also found this. At the company, 34% of people changed their initial response after seeing the prompt, or did not choose to send a response at all. After being prompted once, people reduced their aggressive replies by an average of 11% in the future. This shows that, at least for some small groups, the prompt has a lasting impact on the user's behavior.
Twitter also found that users who were prompted were less likely to receive harmful responses, but did not further quantify that indicator.
However, Twitter's early testing ran into some problems. It finds that its system and algorithm sometimes can't understand the nuances in many conversations. For example, it can't always distinguish between offensive replies and sarcasm, and sometimes even friendly banter. It's also hard to explain how languages are reused by underrepresented communities and then used in a non harmful way.
Improvements that began on Wednesday are designed to address these problems. Twitter says it has adapted its technology in these and other areas. Now, it will take into account the relationship between the author and the respondent. That is to say, if both parties pay attention to and reply to each other frequently, they are more likely to understand the other party's preferred tone of communication than those who do not pay attention to each other.
Twitter said it has also improved technology to more accurately detect strong language, including swearing. It also makes it easier for those who see prompts to let twitter know if the prompts are helpful or relevant - data that can help further improve the system. Of course, the effect of all this remains to be seen.
Twitter said the improved tips will be available to all English users on IOS from today and will reach Android in the next few days.