Twitter has a secret system for dealing with attacks on high-profile accounts

But at least it's not as nefarious as Facebook's VIP program.

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In this photo illustration Twitter logo is displayed on a smartphone screen in Athens, Greece on April 14, 2021. (Photo by Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

As the meme goes, the goal of every Twitter user is to avoid being the main character of the day. But if you end up being that unlucky soul, it turns out Twitter is prepared to help you survive the potential trolling onslaught. As Bloomberg reports, the company has developed Project Guardian, an internal list of thousands of accounts who could potentially be attacked by other users. Being on that list fast-tracks any complaints related to those users on Twitter's moderation systems.

While it may sound a bit suspect, the big takeaway from Bloomberg's reporting is that Project Guardian is just a predictive aspect of Twitter's security measures. And unlike Facebook's treatment of VIP's, which has been criticized for allowing celebrities and politicians to break that platform's rules, Twitter's system doesn't necessarily grant more privileges to users. 

Project Guardian also includes some well-known athletes, media personalities and politicians, but Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of site integrity, tells Bloomberg that the list doesn't include famous users. As, as we mentioned, it also helps to protect normal people who end up going viral.

“The reason this concept existed is because of the ‘person of the day’ phenomenon,” Roth said. “And on that basis, there are some people who are the ‘person of the day’ most days, and so Project Guardian would be one way to protect them.”

In an ideal world, Twitter would be able to give every user the same amount of security support. But, as Bloomberg notes, the company currently receives too many moderation requests to manage that. Perhaps that's an argument that user safety should be scaled in proportion with user growth. And while Project Guardian helps to protect some users, it's also a smart way for Twitter to squash harassment that could also hurt its own image. You could argue that's true for practically every security measure a social media company takes, though.

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