Twitter will introduce new feature to tackle online abuse
As one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, there are plenty of positive sides to Twitter.
It’s the first place you’ll find breaking news and the things everyone is talking about and it allows you to keep tabs on what people far more famous than you are getting up to.
You don’t, however, have to look too hard to find some more negative aspects of Twitter either, where some of the personal abuse can be vicious and completely over the line.
As Twitter acknowledged themselves in a statement on Tuesday, they have had challenges curbing abusive conduct because Twitter happens in public and in real-time and it’s used by millions of people all over the world.
Recognising the need to progress in areas of control, reporting and enforcement, Twitter has announced a number of features that they hope will curb the level of abusive conduct going forward.
The mute function, for example, will now be expanded to individual user’s notifications, enabling users to mute keywords, phrases, and even entire conversations they don’t want to see notifications about.
It will be rolled out to all users in the coming days and Twitter have vowed to make it “better and more comprehensive over time”.
Twitter users will also be given a more direct way to report the type of conduct that violates its hateful conduct policy, whenever they see it happening. Twitter says it will improve their ability to process these reports, help reduce the burden on the person experiencing the abuse and help to strengthen a culture of collective support on Twitter.
With regard to enforcement, meanwhile, Twitter has retrained all of their support teams on their policies, including special sessions on cultural and historical contextualisation of hateful conduct. They have also implemented an ongoing refresher programme, all with the aim of dealing with such conduct in a faster and more transparent manner.
“We don’t expect these announcements to suddenly remove abusive conduct from Twitter,” today’s statement read.
“No single action by us would do that. Instead we commit to rapidly improving Twitter based on everything we observe and learn.”
Fingers crossed the changes have the desired effect.