Twitter reveals new tools to deal with abuse and harassment after criticism

There’s no change to the rules, the company said, but new tools will help them apply them more quickly after complaints from users

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 02 December 2014 21:28

Twitter has unveiled new tools to crack down on abuse and harassment on the service, including a new way of reporting problem tweets and internal ways to deal with them more quickly.

The new tools include a more mobile friendly and simpler reporting system for abusive tweets, which will require less information from users. The new tools will make it easier for those that observe abuse but aren’t receiving it directly to report abuse, Twitter said in a blog post.

The company has also made changes to its internal processes that will help it review reported tweets and accounts more quickly, it said.

The new tools don’t change the company rules around harassment and abuse, but make problem tweets easier for users and the company to respond to, it said.

Twitter has been criticised by campaigners and other groups for failing to respond quickly or firmly enough to abuse on the platform, but the company is understood been weighing firmer rules against freedom of expression concerns.

The criticism has increased in the wake of recent scandals including GamerGate, and the sustained abuse that saw Zelda Williams, Robin Williams' daughter, forced off Twitter in the wake of her father's death.

The changes also give users the option to see all blocked accounts, as well as stopping users from viewing profiles of those that have blocked them.

The updates are being rolled out to a select group before general release in the coming weeks, the company said. Further changes are also to come.

“We are nowhere near being done making changes in this area,” the company said. “In the coming months, you can expect to see additional user controls, further improvements to reporting and new enforcement procedures for abusive accounts.

“We’ll continue to work hard on these changes in order to improve the experience of people who encounter abuse on Twitter.”