Twitter combats harassment with new tool flagging abusive Tweets

Twitter announces new tools to combat abusive online behavior (Courtesy: @Support)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Twitter has rolled out new anti-harassment tools the social media giant is calling “an improved way to flag abusive Tweets.” Twitter Support unveiled a 20-second clip that swiftly walks people through just how it works. “In our continuing effort to make your Twitter experience safer, we’re enhancing our in-product harassment reporting and making improvements to ‘block,'” posted Twitter.

The move follows criticism that the existing methods were insufficient, according to NBC News. Twitter also recognizes that the events that unfold throughout the world also unfold on Twitter — “to the tune of more than 500 million Tweets every day.” That sometimes includes content that violates their rules regarding harassment and abuse, something Twitter is now addressing. They want to make it easier to report that type of abusive online behavior, “So, we’re improving the reporting process to make it much more mobile-friendly, require less initial information, and, overall, make it simpler to flag Tweets and accounts for review.” Similarly, these enhancements also improve the reporting process for people who see the abuse but aren’t receiving it directly, Twitter adds.

“And to enable faster response times, we’ve made the first of several behind-the-scenes improvements to the tools and processes that help us review reported Tweets and accounts,” says Twitter.

When you opt to file a report, you get one of five options as the reason for the filing.

What’s the problem?

  • This Tweet is annoying
  • This Tweet is spam
  • This account may be compromised
  • This user is abusive
  • This Tweet contains a sensitive image

If you select that the user is abusive, you’re prompted into selecting one of these four issues:

  • Impersonation
  • Private information
  • Harassment
  • Self-harm or suicide

Also getting a revamp is the blocked accounts page, which shows you the people you’ve blocked. You can easily unblock them if you’ve changed your mind, and Twitter is adding more controls and features to this page in the coming months. Additionally, accounts that you’ve blocked won’t be able to view your profile. The updates are available now for a small group of users, but in the coming weeks, Twitter will roll them out to everyone.

“We are nowhere near being done making changes in this area,” said Twitter. “In the coming months, you can expect to see additional user controls, further improvements to reporting and new enforcement procedures for abusive accounts. We’ll continue to work hard on these changes in order to improve the experience of people who encounter abuse on Twitter.”

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