Services & Software

Twitter further clarifies how it handles abusive behavior

The social network elaborates on its policies with two new Help Center pages.

Twitter is giving more details on how it tackles abusive behavior.
James Martin/CNET

Twitter is providing more clarification for users on how the platform enforces its behavior policies.

The social network expanded its Help Center on Tuesday with two pages that discuss how the company reviews user reports of potential violations and how it decides if an account or tweet has broken the rules. The pages also detail what actions Twitter can take when a tweet or account is out of line.

The company said it will consider a number of factors, including whether

  • the behavior is aimed at an individual, group, or protected category of people,
  • the report has been filed by a bystander or by the target of the abuse,
  • the user has a history of violating the company's policies,
  • the content may be of legitimate public interest (for instance, US President Donald Trump's tweets).

Twitter will also consider the severity of the violation.

The update comes a month after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that the social network would be rolling out changes to how it monitors content to protect its 330 million users from online bullying and harassment. The update also arrives nearly two weeks after the platform announced it was revamping its rules on how it deals with abusive behavior

Though harassment on Twitter has been long-standing, the company has been under increased scrutiny since October's  #WomenBoycottTwitter protest, which urged people to forgo tweeting for a day to prod Twitter into improving how it screens content.

Twitter's Help Center has been frequently updated with added information on what the platform considers to be graphic violence or adult content. 

Another policy update is scheduled to go into effect Nov. 22, including prohibiting hateful images and suspending the accounts of organizations that use violence to advance their cause.

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