In a bid to tackle abuse and harassment, Twitter will be putting in place a team of experts that will be charged with the responsibility of responding to these threats in fullest and most nuanced manner.
This announcement was made by the company, detailing out that the newly formed safety council is made of specialist charities as well as a slate of fresh anti-harassment features that will be rolling out throughout 2016.
With the growing use of the social media, there is need to tackle the use of abusive language as well as threats on the platform. Facebook has in the past been at this point, with users questioning what protocol it uses to determine that a given post is offensive and deserves to be removed or blocked from the site. To avoid such questions coming their way, head of policy at Twitter UK, Nick Pickles, said that the platform’s council will include the Samaritans mental health charity, the Safer Internet Center (advice charity) and the Internet Watch Foundation (specialist in criminal content and child abuse material).
Pickles feels that this is the right time to start dealing with these abuse and harassment issues on Twitter. In handling the matter, he said that the process will depend on a single project; rather, it will include regular and consistent action across the entire year.
The social media platform has been on the receiving end of some not-so-good reactions regarding what users believe is failure to provide adequate protective measures for users who have in the past been subjected to extreme abuse, harassment or threats. While UK laws include clauses that protect users against such issues of harassment (including jailing the offenders), the same is not true in the United States and other countries where the service is offered.
Twitter currently sees a reported daily active user base of at least 500 million people, but it has been struggling to establish the balance between free speech and abusive comments. This was even echoed by former CEO Dick Costolo, who told staff back in 2015 that the company needed to change or rather do more as far as protecting users against abusive comments is concerned.
“We suck when it comes to dealing with abusive comments and trolls and we’ve sucked at it for many years,” Costolo wrote.
While Twitter is trying or rather struggling to deal with abusive language on its platform, quite a number of controversial statements have come out on the platform following the recent changes the company has been making. Suggested changes in the order of user feeds as well as doing away with the 140-character limit in favor of 10,000 characters are just some of the things millions have been commenting about.
Using the hashtag #RIPTwitter, users have been sending abusive messages to the company in a bid to let them know their dissatisfaction regarding the proposed changes.
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