According to Twitter, they have employed a range of new features and safety measures that is enabling them to finally win the war against Twitter trolls. They say that, as an added benefit, people now feel much safer when they are on the platform. They also trust Twitter more, which is translated in more complaints against trolls, which is again helping them to make the entire platform safer. Dick Costolo, chief executive for Twitter for quite some time, stated in February that the company really had no idea on how to deal with trolls. In fact, he said that they sucked.
We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years. 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.
Now that Jack Dorsey is at the helm, a European spokesperson for Twitter, Bruce Daisley, has made an official statement about how the platform is improving.
We have spent longer and put more effort into user safety than any other issue. The measures we’ve taken correlate directly with a reduction in the amount of bad behaviour on the platform. If someone is behaving in a way characteristic of a bad actor, we send them a phone verification. That allows us to tell the user that what they do here exists in the real world. It normally acts as a stark reminder. Secondly, it allows us to see whether that user has already got other accounts set up on their phone that have been suspended.
Twitter is also enabling users to become more proactive with regards to their own safety. There are now a number of new tools that enable Twitter users to actually block a troll. Additionally, they can name and shame them if they decide to share their personal blocked accounts list, thereby enabling others to take on trolls. This is something that Daisley is particularly proud of. As a former YouTube employee, he knows more about safety on online open platforms than anyone else.
What you will see next year is Twitter as a business taking more responsibility for ensuring that when you come to the site, its pages are filled with the very best content for you.
Other Twitter executives are joining in the celebrations of this important victory over the trolls. One such executive is Del Harvey, who was Twitter’s head of trust and safety. He has stated that policing abuse will now be one of the main focal points of the company. In fact, he made an official pledge to ensure each individual user will be able to protect themselves as much as possible.
Vijay Gadde, who is a member of the general counsel for Twitter, has also added publicly to this commitment.
We are also overhauling our safety policies to give our teams a better framework from which to protect vulnerable users, such as banning the posting of non-consensual intimate images as well as expanding our definition of “abuse” to ban indirect threats of violence.
Meanwhile, online safety operation manager for the safer internet center in the United Kingdom, Laura Higgins, has also welcomed the overhaul. The Safer Internet Center is closely linked to Twitter and they have said that there have been tremendous improvements in the overall safety of Twitter. This was achieved thanks to blocking repeat offenders and the introduction of new routes for reporting trolls and abusers.
Twitter was launched in the first quarter of 2006. Since then, it amassed some 320 million monthly active users. Each month, it achieves around one billion unique visitors, many of which are on mobile.