Microblogging service Twitter has finally announced the much-awaited big changes in its website, making users deal with harassment easier than before.
The company released a statement, saying it now allows users to report abuse via mobile, even when it is aimed at someone else.
In addition, Twitter is now giving the block feature more power. The new way to block a Twitter account allows user to quickly file a more descriptive complaint. People can select from several problems to report, such as “This account is annoying” or “This user is abusive.”
More importantly, the reporting and blocking tool lets users who witness abuse to file a complaint, too. After that, Twitter users can have access to a page that lists the blocked accounts. They have the option to restore blocked accounts completely if they are no longer bothering the user.
The new features will be available to all users in the next few weeks.
“We’ll be adding more controls and features to this page in the coming months,” Twitter said in its announcement. “Additionally, accounts that you’ve blocked won’t be able to view your profile.”
Twitter’s Response to Threats
As Twitter have 500 million posts every day, the company said they are hoping the new features will help improve the process of removing and flagging offensive tweets.
The social media site has been dealing with abuse issues since its earliest days. It faced criticisms in the past few years for not do anything or stepping up to protect its users. Now, they are trying to move into the right direction by rolling out its anti-troll tools.
The improved tools for flagging abusive Tweets came after reports about death and rape threats, which is part of the so-called Gamergate movement.
The campaign’s targets took to Twitter to voice their anger, disappointment, and frustrations about hate mails and misogyny.
In the past few months, Gamergate has gained attention on the Internet because of their wrong behavior towards female game developers and journalists.
The hashtag #Gamergate started with a lot of complaints and cases concerning online hate speech, which scared many women and made them worry about their safety.
“Threats of violence and harassment are wrong,” said a spokesman for the Entertainment Software Association in a statement published in October. “They have to stop. There is no place in the video game community — or our society — for personal attacks and threats.”
Industry watchers consider Twitter’s reaction to online harassment as a way to gather a better response from women. By doing this, the social networking site could help enhance the way it handles such incidents.