As of December 2016, Twitter averaged a staggering 319 million monthly active users. Offering the latest breaking news, jokes, memes and industry-relevant content, this is the ultimate platform for up-to-the-minute news, information and more.
That being said, Twitter also features a great deal of cyberbullying and harassment. Behind the veil of a screen, unfortunately many people feel they can get away with writing abusive, nasty comments behind their egg profile pictures and false names.
In recent times there has been more and more demand for improvements on Twitter in terms of reporting, censoring and silencing abusive language on the platform. But only up until recently (1st March, 2017) have specific measures been implemented to prohibit threats, abuse, harassment or hate speech.
Below are 7 ways that Twitter is fighting cyberbullying and online harassment:
1. Muted content
In the notifications section, users can now mute keywords or entire phrases, whether for a day, a month or infinitely. This enables you to customise the content you see in your notifications and when you see it.
2. Greater transparency around reporting
Where previously it wasn’t clear whether or not a report of abuse had been processed, now Twitter offers heightened transparency around the subject, as users now receive notifications when/if Twitter has taken action on a filed report of abuse.
3. Notifications filtering
It’s now possible to filter the type of accounts you receive notifications from on Twitter. For instance if you do not want to receive notifications from Twitter users who do not have a profile photo, this can be specified in your settings. This feature also allows you to stop notifications from specific Twitter users.
4. Preventing creation of abusive accounts
Using a new algorithm that detects identical email addresses and phone numbers, Twitter will prevent abusive, flagged users from creating new accounts.
5. Collapsed abusive tweets
Another algorithm implemented by Twitter is the ability to identify and hide tweets that are considered low quality or from abusive accounts. Although these tweets will still be visible on Twitter, users will have to search for them instead of them just popping up on their feeds.
6. Safer search results
Algorithms will now filter search results so that they are safer. Content from accounts that have been muted, reported or marked as abusive will no longer be easily visible or appear in primary search results.
7. Twitter Timeout
Finally, Twitter recently implemented a ‘timeout’ feature where abusive Twitter users’ tweets are temporarily banned from view on the platform, the purpose of which is to send out a message to abusers to stop what they are tweet or risk further punishment, possibly in the form of a complete banning from the platform altogether.
Cyberbulling should be taken very seriously as it can have incredibly detrimental consequences on the individual/s experiencing the bullying. As a business, it is your duty to report abusive or threatening online behaviour no matter which social media platform it is being experienced on. As you can see, there are a whole host of tools now available to combat online abuse and harassment, so if your brand’s Twitter is the target of such abuse, it’s definitely time to take action.
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