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Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sentropy, a startup backed by Reddit co-founder Alex Ohanian, has spent much of its first year focused on helping protect digital platforms from abuse using machine learning. On Tuesday, it announced a new service aimed at helping Twitter users avoid abusive comments.

Why it matters: People, especially prominent women, people of color and LGBTQ people, encounter frequent online abuse and often have to first view inflammatory posts before they can take action, such as blocking or muting those doing the harassment.

  • "Today if you go on Twitter and are being harassed or dealing with hate speech, you have to see it to process it," says Sentropy VP of product Dev Bala. "The opportunity we are providing here is to programmatically deal with that and essentially pre-moderate the feed."

Details: Sentropy's new Protect service, now in beta, lets individuals choose to let Sentropy automatically take action on tweets or, if they prefer, simply flag potentially offensive content and let the individual decide what actions to take.

Between the lines: Sentropy CEO John Redgrave says that shortly after launching last June, the company heard from individuals wanting to see if the company’s enterprise-grade technology might also be made available to individuals. That, he said, prompted a couple months of thinking about what a consumer service could look like.

The big picture: Redgrave said that because Twitter already has tools and APIs for blocking and muting users, the platform was a natural place to start. But, he said, "The vision is not Twitter-specific. This is much bigger."

Go deeper

Twitter beats on earnings, says expenses will balloon in 2021

Twitter headquarters, San Francisco. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Twitter's stock rose to near-record highs Tuesday after beating Wall Street estimates on top and bottom lines but failing slightly to meet expectations on user growth for the quarter.

Yes, but: Overall, Twitter still posted significant user gains in 2020, which the company attributes to the "global conversation around current events and ongoing product improvements."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

2 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Children "very likely" to get COVID vaccine at start of 2022

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Children under age 12 will "very likely" be able to get vaccinated for coronavirus at the "earliest the end of the year, and very likely the first quarter of 2022," NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Why it matters: Children generally aren't at risk of serious coronavirus infections, but vaccinating them will be key to protecting the adults around them and, eventually, reaching herd immunity, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.