This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.
We all know that Twitter can be a fantastic online community, however despite this it still does have a rampant abuse and trolling problem – their own CEO admits it. However Twitter says they are on it and they are starting to tackle the problem head on.
Twitter says they now receive five times as many reports of abuse than it did six months ago and as a result they have tripled the number of staff reviewing those reports in the same time period. They also announced on Thursday that there is a new set of procedures rolling out to deal with rule breakers however they did not describe the changes in great detail.
According to The Verge, Twitter will now start tracking the phone numbers of users known to repeatedly harass others.
In December, Twitter started rolling out easier ways to report abuse. Beforehand the process was a lengthy set of questions, the company also introduced a “Blocked Accounts” page to help users better monitor people they didn’t want seeing their account.
Starting today we're rolling out an improved way to flag abusive Tweets. See how it works. https://t.co/Yf6cStz0z1
— Twitter Support (@Support) December 2, 2014
Just because we have not seen or experienced problems on Twitter with trolls and abuse does not mean it that it doesn’t exist. I am fortunate enough to not have encountered a problem with trolls on Twitter yet, however, recently video game critic Anita Sarkeesian screencapped and posted to Tumblr 157 abusive tweets she received in just one week.
The tweets are full of vulgar slang, slews of rape and violence threats. It makes for pretty horrific reading.
Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo has admitted that Twitter has a problem dealing with trolls and online abuse and he took personal responsibility for the problems while pledging to put more resources into making Twitter a better online community.
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.
I’m frankly ashamed of how poorly we’ve dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO. It’s absurd. There’s no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It’s nobody else’s fault but mine, and it’s embarrassing.
We’re going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them.
Everybody on the leadership team knows this is vital.
Costolo gave an interview to The New York Times on Wednesday and commented about how blunt he was in the memo that was leaked to the media saying: “One of the reasons I was so blunt about it was that I wanted to really send a wake-up call to the company that we’re going to get a lot more aggressive about it, and it’s going to start right now.”
It sounds like Twitter is finally ready and gearing up to take the fight back to the trolls.
About The Author
Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis, he is also a proud father of his bearded dragon, Lola. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here.