Twitter updates abuse policy to fight against trolls and hate speech

By : |November 16, 2016 0

In the recent months, Twitter launched many initiatives to tackle online abuse, such as Quality Filter, keyword filtering tool etc. But these features allowed users only to ‘hide’ the abusive post. However, with the Twitter’s latest update you can now deal with the trolls and abusers directly.

The micro-blogging site has updated its abuse policy that will allow users to report the abusive content to Twitter for removal. This feature is available not just for the targets of the online abuse, but for bystanders also.

Announcing the update, Twitter said, “Our hateful conduct policy prohibits specific conduct that targets people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.”

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“Today we’re giving you a more direct way to report this type of conduct for yourself, or for others, whenever you see it happening. This will improve our ability to process these reports, which helps reduce the burden on the person experiencing the abuse,” the company added.

Users can also mute keywords, after which those specific keywords or phrases will stop appearing in feeds, or anywhere else. For example, if you were to mute “Black”, you won’t see the word on Twitter again.

“We’re enabling you to mute keywords, phrases, and even entire conversations you don’t want to see notifications about, rolling out to everyone in the coming days,” Twitter wrote in its blog post. “This is a feature we’ve heard many of you ask for, and we’re going to keep listening to make it better and more comprehensive over time.”

Twitter also said that it is retraining its support teams and overhauling its systems to deal with abuse reports more quickly and sensitively.

Noticeably, Twitter launched the update just when Facebook and Google were at the receiving ends for ‘fake news’ in light of the U.S. election. Google and Facebook have already said that they would stop fake news websites from using its service for online advertising or generating revenue in ads.

The latest update may not curb online abuse completely, however, it is a welcome step in the right direction.

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