Twitter sets new guidelines and timeline to fight online abuse

By : |October 20, 2017 0

In the wake of ever-increasing trolls and abuse on its platform, Twitter is committing to a new set of guidelines and timeline to enhance user-experience and safety.

“As we said last week, we’re updating our approach to make Twitter a safer place. This won’t be a quick or easy fix, but we’re committed to getting it right. Starting today, you can expect regular, real-time updates about our progress,” the company said in a blog post late on Thursday.

Under the latest policy, Twitter has planned new safety features including a ban on hateful display names, and improvements for second-hand “witness reporting” of abuse. From October 27, the micro-blogging site will begin enforcing stricter actions to shut down accounts tweeting non-consensual nudity. Then on November 3, the new rules will also crack down on violent groups and hateful imagery.p

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Accounts belonging to groups “that use violence to advance their cause” will be suspended, Twitter said in its Thursday post. The company says that it already takes action against threats like “I’m going to kill you.” But, as part of the policy update, it said it will soon take action against tweets that are perhaps more vague, but no less threatening, such as “Murdering <x group of people> makes sense.

Meanwhile, hateful imagery and symbols will also be banned from avatars and profile headers. Notably, Twitter is also planning to make significant updates to existing policies around non-consensual nudity and unwanted sexual advances on the platform.

Policing of unsolicited pornography and sexual messages had in the past relied on complaints from victims. Now the platform’s regulators are going to use a “bystander reporting” system, which will in part analyze signals such as blocking and muting to detect this sort of conduct.

The updated rules come in the wake of the #WomenBoycottTwitter movement last week, which users launched in response to the company restricting actress Rose McGowan’s account after she spoke out against Harvey Weinstein and the A-listers she says enabled him.

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