This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.

Twitter is starting to make serious strides in how it deals with harassment and threats of a violent nature against its users. CEO Dick Costolo has acknowledged some time ago in a company memo that they nee to do better when it comes to dealing with behaviour of this nature on the social network if they want to continue to grow. In a blog post, Twitter outlined the changes to come.

The first big change is that is is no longer necessary for a user to engage in specific threats of violence against another user in order to be in breach of Twitter policy. The new rules now prohibit “threats of violence against others or promoting violence against others.”

This puts an end to a large loophole in the policy where Twitter users were previously able to incite others to harass or threaten a person however since they were not the ones sending the threatening messages themselves and as a result they were safe from any consequences.

The other change in policy is aimed towards online abusers. Twitter is now introducing the ability to limit a users account for a certain timespan until they register their phone number on the service and then delete the offending posts. They will be able to log in however will have limited access to what they can do until the offending tweets are deleted.

Previously Twitter would only suspend an account which prevented the user from logging in at all. This would be nothing more than a slap on the wrist as users would go and create a new account and continue as they were before while the offensive posts would be left there. The new time limited suspensions are a way of creating an inconvenience for Twitter users who breach the harassment policy, allow them to delete the tweets and get back to using Twitter from their account instead of banning them for good.

Twitter will be hoping it will encourage less people to create new accounts to continue harassing others from, give them a chance to think about unsavoury tweets they may have made and then have the chance to delete them and return to their account as it was before. Twitter will be hoping that giving users a chance to delete unsavoury tweets will also keep the service clean and ultimately be a benefit to all.

Finally, Twitter is testing “a product feature to help us identify suspected abusive Tweets and limit their reach.” Basically, using the Twitter algorithm to detect and limit visibility of  tweets that they detect to be abusive. This is only in early testing at the moment so there are no hard details to go on.

We can sit here and roll our eyes and say, “finally they are doing something about trolls and bullies.” However the reality is that it is better late than never, clearly tackling harassment has become a high priority for Twitter and so far they have taken all the right steps to start getting on top of things which can only result in an improved Twitter experience in the long run.

About The Author

Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here. Or you can drop Mark an email at, [email protected]

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