Twitter announces measures to tackle ‘sharp rise’ in abuse

Twitter announces measures to tackle ‘sharp rise’ in abuse

The social media giant is looking to tackle the rise in bullying and harassment on the web

Twitter has announced a series of extra measures to tackle a “sharp rise” in the amount of online abuse, bullying and harassment.

The social media giant, which operates an open platform, admitted that it had struggled to cope with, and respond to, conduct which it said “threatens human dignity,” as it announced a set of additional controls and reporting lines.

“Because Twitter happens in public and in real-time, we’ve had some challenges keeping up with and curbing abusive conduct,” it said this week, adding: “We took a step back to reset and take a new approach.”

The San Francisco-based news and social networking service said it was now expanding its “mute” feature, which lets users mute accounts they do not wish to see Tweets from.

“We’re expanding mute to where people need it the most: in notifications,” the group said. “We’re enabling you to mute keywords, phrases, and even entire conversations you don’t want to see notifications about, rolling out to everyone in the coming days.”

The company also said it was giving users “a more direct way” to report hateful comments based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease. It was not immediately clear whether ‘Zionism’ or ‘Zionists’ would be included.

It added: “We have retrained all of our support teams on our policies, including special sessions on cultural and historical contextualisation of hateful conduct, and implemented an ongoing refresher program. We have also improved our internal tools and systems in order to deal more effectively with this conduct when it’s reported to us. Our goal is a faster and more transparent process.”

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