As most of us know, the world of social media isn’t always the fun-filled friendly place it appears to be in advertisements and movies. Every one of us has experienced abuse while logged on, at least to a certain extent. But if a mean comment may kill your buzz, a death threat may be downright scary!
Twitter has decided to make its space a safer one for all users, after having dealt with numerous harassment cases, from abuse threats to rape and death threats.
“We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” , announced Dick Costolo, the CEO of Twitter himself. And when things hit this all time low, it becomes obvious that drastic measures need to be put into action. “It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.”, Costolo says.
It’s a known fact that under Costolo’s reign, it came upon Twitter employees to track down and stop cyber-bullies. And this is a fairly unachievable task if you think about the almost 300 million users who post at least around 500 million tweets a day. It’s bound to take some time to find the culprits at this rate.
This is probably how Robin Williams’ daughter managed to receive numerous threats to close down her account, which she ended up doing. TV host Sue Perkins found her Twitter page “full of blokes wishing me dead” after rumor got out that she was going to present Top Gear. Mortal Kombat X producer, Shaun Himmerick also left Twitter after receiving threats towards his wife and daughter. And can you imagine what happens if you’re not famous? How fast will Twitter intervene if you’re a just another regular user?
Costolo confessed to being somewhat ashamed of the way that this situation had been dealt with during his tenure as Twitter CEO. Apart from taking complete responsibility for the lack of swiftness in confronting such cyber-bullies, Costolo also mentioned that the social platform should have been much more aggressive and that he should have enforced such aggressiveness to begin with.
Now it’s time for action! Shreyas Doshi, Twitter’s product management director, explained how they aim to save face. The three main plans that Twitter has is to make its space safer are as follows: they will include a far wider range of words that will signal a threat, they will reserve their right to freeze an account if they suspect abusive behavior and they will require a phone number to re-open frozen accounts and to open new ones.
So, for instance, if in Costolo’s time a cyberbully would have been reprehended only after saying that he’d hit you with his bat, or his belt, now his post will draw Twitter’s attention even it says he’d hit you, or beat you up, without all the gory details. Action will definitely be hastened if you report these users to Twitter, so do not hesitate.
In the hopes of a better protected Twitter, the new safety tool will prevent harmful tweets from appearing on a user’s timeline, but if the user still follows the abuser, he will still see his posts. However, this is not the case for celebrity users anymore! Thanks to the new “quality filter”, Twitter will automatically sort out and hide abusive and threatening tweets from these user’s timelines.
Image Source: The Independent
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