Twitter acquires online safety company to bolster anti-abuse efforts

Smyte has experience addressing spam and online abuse.

Twitter has repeatedly come under fire for not doing enough to stop hate speech, allowing outside groups to sow political discord and failing to limit the spread of misinformation. To address these issues, the company announced earlier this year that it was looking for outside experts to help in its effort to promote healthy, open and civil conversations on its platform. Now, it's acquiring a company that might be able to boost those efforts internally.

Twitter announced today that it is purchasing Smyte, a San Francisco-based firm that "specializes in safety, spam and security issues." In a blog post, Twitter said today, "Smyte's team, technology and company mission are aligned with our focus on improving the health of conversation on Twitter, and we believe this will be a powerful addition to our ongoing work."

Since reaching out for ideas from experts, Twitter has also had company leaders, including CEO Jack Dorsey, answer questions from users live on Periscope, announced a study that will explore whether publicizing its rules improves the civility of conversations on its site and started hiding tweets it deems to be from trolls.

"The Smyte team has dealt with many unique issues facing online safety and believes in the same proactive approach that we're taking for Twitter: stopping abusive behavior before it impacts anyone's experience," Twitter said today. "We can't wait until they join our team to help us make changes that will further improve the health of the public conversation."

Image: Smyte