Twitter Acquires San Francisco Tech Company Smyte in Continued Effort to Curb Online Abuse

For all the perks it offers, Twitter has long been criticised for the sheer volume of hate filled speech and abuse which litters the platform, and can make life hell for any users made the target of such behaviour. To their credit the company do seem to be genuine in their ongoing pledge to fight these issues, but given the scale and nature of Twitter’s user base this was never going to be an easy task.

This week however the battle may have swayed slightly more in Twitter’s favour as they announced their acquisition of San Francisco-based technology company Smyte for an undisclosed fee. The company, which describes itself as “trust and safety as a service”, was founded back in 2014 by a group of engineers formerly working for the likes of Google and Instagram, and specialises in tackling safety, spam, and security issues online.

This seems like a clever move on Twitter’s part as their reputation as a breeding ground for online abuse may well be too far cemented to shake off if they fail to make significant progress soon. Smyte’s team however seem ideally suited to help in this regard, as they bring with them years of experience in dealing with such issues and are sure to provide valuable insight.

Announcing the acquisition via blog post on June 21st, Twitter stated, “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 behaviour before it impacts anyone’s experience.

“Smyte’s products will help us address challenges in safety, spam and security more quickly and effectively. Their review tools and processes will be powerful additions to our own tools and technology that help us keep Twitter safe. We’ll integrate this technology to strengthen our systems and operations in the coming months.

“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.”

A visit to Smyte’s website meanwhile presents you only with the message, “Smyte is joining Twitter! When we founded Smyte, we set out to build a company that would help keep people safe online. During the past three years, we’ve helped large and small customers alike solve countless issues with spam, abuse and fraud. We’re proud of this work, and look forward to continuing our mission at a larger scale - with one of the most important services in the world.

“As part of this we’re shutting down our business, effective immediately. Thank you for the partnership and support. Farewell @HelloSmyte, and hello @Twitter!”

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