Shopping features on Twitter pose content moderation risks and could be used’in a way that leads to individual or societal harm’.
The email was sent to a group of Twitter employees across various teams. Some existing and not-yet-released features of Twitter shopping are listed as high risk.
Twitter shopping allows brands to list items for sale and pin a handful of products at the top of a merchant’s profile. An expanded version of the shop module was introduced earlier this year, allowing sellers to list and showcase up to 50 products in their storefront.
A section of Twitter’s e-commerce tool is listed as’high’. Several elements of the Twitter e-commerce tool are included in the memo. One concern is merchant-generated fields like shop names and descriptions.
Twitter’s shop feature allows anyone with a professional account selling items in the US to manually add products for sale to their profile. When selecting items to appear in the expanded shop, merchants can add a custom shop name and descriptions directly on the Twitter dashboard.
The memo paints the picture of a bare-bones process to look for and remove potentially abusive content on Twitter shopping. The platform does n’t yet have a policy on what is considered a shop name or description violation, according to the memo.
The company has introduced other updates like reminders that allow customers to get notified and tweet about new releases from brands. Currently, users have the ability to click into merchant shops, view products, and click out to merchant websites, but sharing the storefronts is n’t yet possible.
Twitter has some automated detection mechanisms for individual products listed for sale. But proactive measures to detect violations are’limited’. The company has minimal staff and tools for further review.
‘shareable shops incentivize bad actors to amplify harmful or violative goods by tweeting and sharing their own shop’.
Twitter spokesperson Lauren Alexander confirmed the authenticity of the memo. It was part of a new feature assessment led by the product trust team. Alexander says the assessments are designed so different teams can provide input.
‘we’re always working to improve the safety of our service,’ says Alexander.’we have the opportunity to gather learnings to better inform our approach to health and safety,’ Alexander says.
Twitter has been trying to diversify its revenue sources. It’s lagged behind other social networks like Instagram and TikTok.