Twitter 'report abuse' button now live on all platforms

The social network makes reporting abusive tweets far easier after a UK activist was harassed and threatened with rape by angry users.

Screenshot by Edward Moyer/CNET

Reporting abuse on Twitter has now been simplified on all platforms, including desktop Web, mobile Web, and iOS and Android apps. The move comes after female journalists and a member of Parliament were harassed and threatened with rape on the social network with no easy way to report the abuse.

Before the change, Twitter users had to search the site to figure out how to report abuse. Now, there's a simple button located directly on people's accounts that takes them to Twitter's help center to file an abuse report. The social network also pledged to add more staff to vet flagged tweets.

The impetus for the new feature started when UK activist Caroline Criado-Perez successfully lobbied to have novelist Jane Austen featured on a UK banknote. For the next 48 hours she was repeatedly threatened with rape on Twitter.

Shortly after, one of Criado-Perez's followers launched a Change.org petition asking Twitter to make its abuse reporting procedures easier. According to Change.org, the petition tallied 139,000 signatures.

"It's great that Twitter has listened," Criado Perez said in a statement sent to CNET on Wednesday. "There are still issues: users have to agree for the report to be potentially shared with the harasser and there are some boxes that could be auto-populated that aren't, but overall, this is a fantastic first step."

For it's part, Twitter announced it would make the change earlier this month. Coincidentally, it had already made the switch for iOS apps and the mobile Web before the UK outcry.

"We actually started introducing the reporting function many weeks before that petition," a Twitter spokesperson told CNET, "starting with iOS apps and the mobile web, and now with Android and the desktop web."

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About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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