Twitter on abuse: "People deserve to feel safe on Twitter"

The microblogging network has outlined how it's combatting abuse, in light of a few recent cases.

Twitter has outlined how it's combatting abuse on the microblogging network, in light of some recent cases.

"It comes down to this: people deserve to feel safe on Twitter," the blog post reads. Tell that to Caroline Criado-Perez, who was inundated with rape threats after she successfully campaigned to have Jane Austen appear on the £10 note. Or to columnists Hadley Freeman and Grace Dent, or Europe editor of Time magazine Catherine Meyer, all of who received bomb threats recently.

So what has Twitter done to help the situation? It's updated its rules page to make it clearer it doesn't tolerate abusive behaviour. It's also rolling out the in-tweet report button (which lets you report abuse directly from the tweet, rather than having to go to the Help Centre) to its Android app and to Twitter.com. The button is already used in its iOS app and on the mobile web.

Twitter is working with the UK Safer Internet Centre to "expand our user resources on digital citizenship and staying safe online".

"We are committed to making Twitter a safe place for our users," the blog post ends. "We are adding additional staff to the teams that handle abuse reports and are exploring new ways of using technology to improve everyone's experience on Twitter. We're here, and we're listening to you."

The Met police's e-crime unit is investigating the bomb threat tweets, even though some of the incidents were outside London. "The Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) who hold the police national cyber crime remit, is now investigating allegations made by eight people that they have been subject to harassment, malicious communication or bomb threats," the Met said in a statement.

"Whilst outside PCeU's cyber operational remit, the MPS has taken the decision to centralise the individual investigations, including three that are outside London, to make the most effective use of resources."

Two people were arrested in relation to the rape threats last week.

Have you been subjected to abuse on Twitter? What can be done to combat it? Let me know in the comments, or on our ever-friendly Facebook page.

About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

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