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Twitter automates the creation of harassment reports

Twitter has added a new feature that allows victims of harassment to create a full report of a harassing Tweet with just a mouse click.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
2 min read


Twitter has announced a new feature to simplify dealing with harassing tweets. In many countries around the world, this sort of harassment on social media is illegal -- but if you're going to report it to the authorities, police departments recommend that you collect and keep records of harassment, to give strength and credence to your case.

Of course, responsibility falls on the victim -- in most cases, this involves taking screenshots, noting down timestamps, and somehow compiling the information into a coherent dossier. With the amount of abuse some Twitter users receive, this can be a gargantuan task.

Now, the social network has added a tool that makes it easy to email yourself a report that contains all pertinent information with just a single click. When you report a Tweet using the "It's abusive or harmful" option, the next pop-up will give you a one-click button giving you the option to send a report that you can then print out and give to law enforcement, should it be required.

This move comes in the wake of a string of anti-harassment tools and guideline updates, including a collaboration with the Women, Action & Media group, followed by the rollout of a new way to flag abusive Tweets, both late last year. Just earlier this month, Twitter updated its user policy to make it clear that the social network will henceforth take a zero-tolerance approach to revenge porn -- images of nudity or sexual acts posted without the subject's permission.

This report will contain the content of the Tweet, the username of the sender, the URL of the Tweet, the username of the person to whom it was directed, and the time and date the Tweet was sent. Any additional information law enforcement requires can be requested from Twitter directly.


"While we take threats of violence seriously and will suspend responsible accounts when appropriate, we strongly recommend contacting your local law enforcement if you're concerned about your physical safety," Twitter said in a blog post. "We hope that providing you with a summary of your report will make that process easier for you."