In a much-awaited move, the micro-blogging website Twitter has allowed its users to flag abusive accounts by attaching multiple tweets in a single report. “This update makes it easier for you to provide us with more information about the extent of abuse and reduces the time it takes to do so. That added context often helps us investigate issues and get them resolved faster,” wrote Hao Tang, engineer (safety), at Facebook.
“We want everyone on Twitter to feel safe expressing themselves. Behaviour that crosses the line into abuse is against our rules and we want it to be easy for you to report it to us. So, we’re introducing an improvement to our reporting process: the ability to attach multiple Tweets to a single report,” he informed.
Safety continues to be a top priority at Twitter.
“We have more improvements coming that will give you even more control over your experience and look forward to sharing those updates soon. For more information on our current tools, policies, and processes, head over to our safety centre,” Tang posted.
The new change will be rolled out on iOS, Android and on twitter.com. Users worldwide are expected to get access to the feature in the coming weeks.
Twitter recently revisited its rules to tackle hateful conduct including spreading of terror messages online.
“We believe that protection from abuse and harassment is a vital part of empowering people to freely express themselves on Twitter,” Megan Cristina, director, trust and safety at Twitter, had posted in a blog in December last year.
“The updated language emphasises that Twitter will not tolerate behaviour intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice. As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse,” she posted.
Over the past year, Twitter has taken several steps to fight abuse in order to protect freedom of expression.
It has empowered users with tools for blocking, muting and reporting abusive behaviour.
“We evolved our policy to capture more types of abusive behaviour. We’ve also increased our investment in policy enforcement so that we can handle more reports with greater efficiency, and bolstered educational resources through a new Twitter Safety Centre,” Cristina wrote.
One of the areas Twitter found to be effective in this multi-layered strategy of fighting abuse is creating mandatory actions for suspected abusive behaviour such as email and phone verification and user deletion of Tweets for violations.
“These measures curb abusive behaviour by helping the community understand what is acceptable on our platform,” the post read.
The change comes when terrorist groups like Islamic State (IS) are using social media platforms like Twitter to spread its agenda and communicate with its followers.