Twitter Buys Anti-Abuse Company To Help It Suck Less

Historically, Twitter has done a poor job of protecting its users from incessant abuse and threats. In a bid to curb the rampant harassment on its service, however, Twitter announced late last night that it’s buying Smyte, a San Francisco-based startup that aimed to help companies curb spam, fraud and abuse online.

Photo: Richard Drew (AP)

As part of the acquisition, Smyte says it is shutting down its business, effective immediately. According to Smyte’s archived homepage, the company provided its services to companies such as TaskRabbit, Meetup, GoFundMe and Quora. It used a combination of machine learning and human moderators to identify and categorise user activity involving spam, profanity and fraud.

Screenshot: Smyte

Screenshot: Smyte

“The health of the conversation on Twitter remains our top priority and we’re looking forward to approaching this work with an expanded team and new technology,” Twitter said in its announcement of the acquisition.

Inside Twitter, Smyte’s team will apparently enable the service to “address challenges in safety, spam and security more quickly and effectively”. As far as when you might notice changes following this acquisition, if any, Twitter says the startup’s tech will be integrated into its systems “in the coming months”.