Twitter Is Rolling Out A Simpler Way To Report Abusive Tweets
Twitter announced today that it is giving users a simpler way to report harassment or other abusive behavior on its network. In changes to be rolled out in the coming weeks, the company said it will make the abuse reporting process more mobile friendly, require less information, “and, overall, make it simpler to flag tweets […]
Twitter announced today that it is giving users a simpler way to report harassment or other abusive behavior on its network.
In changes to be rolled out in the coming weeks, the company said it will make the abuse reporting process more mobile friendly, require less information, “and, overall, make it simpler to flag tweets and accounts for review.”
The move is a clear response to criticism that Twitter has moved too slowly to enforce its rules against harassment, prompted by high-profile incidents such as Zelda Williams being driven off Twitter after her father’s death and threats of rape and other violence related to the Gamergate controversy.
“The changes we’re announcing today to our harassment reporting process and to our block feature are representative of our broader focus on giving people more control over their own Twitter experience, including their interactions with others,” said Del Harvey, Twitter’s vice president of trust and safety, in a statement. “We’re also working to take advantage of more behavioral signals — including reports from bystanders — and using those signals to prioritize reports and speed up our review process.”
Twitter’s blog post announcing the move was short on specifics about how the new process will work. The general idea is that people reporting abuse will no longer need to fill out a lengthy online form. Further, Twitter said, people who witness abuse but aren’t receiving it directly will be able to report more easily. It also is adding a page on the desktop version of Twitter where users can review and adjust the people they have blocked in the past. Also those who have been blocked will no longer be able to see the profiles or tweets of the user who blocked them,
Twitter’s @support account tweeted a 21-second video showing the new process on an iPhone, but the un-narrated video moves so quickly through the drill that it’s difficult to follow (as many replies to the tweet note). Your best bet is to expand the video to full screen.
Starting today we’re rolling out an improved way to flag abusive Tweets. See how it works. https://t.co/Yf6cStz0z1
— Twitter Support (@Support) December 2, 2014
Presumably, the process will be so simply that a demonstration won’t be necessary, but it seems odd that Twitter isn’t explaining the changes more fully given that they only have been rolled out to a “small group of users.”
The New York Times reported that the company is also experimenting with stronger enforcement:
Twitter is experimenting with enforcement methods to prevent the rapid creation of new accounts by anyone at the same Internet address as an account that has been banned. It intends to do more to combat impersonation on the service, and even wants to find ways to identify those who are being bullied to the point of feeling suicidal before it’s too late to help them.
Some types of harassment might soon be curbed by adapting the company’s anti-spam technology to screen out those types of messages. And Twitter is even considering whether to add a tool to allow a user to complain about multiple abusive accounts with one report, something that people targeted by hateful speech have been seeking for a long time.
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