Twitter crackdown on internet trolls

New measures have been announced by Twitter in an attempt to cut down on the cyber bullying which is taking place, with abusive users being locked out of their accounts.

After acknowledging that not enough has been done so far to stop abuse over the internet, with their rules being too “narrow”, the social networking giant is trying to significantly reduce the number of abusive messages being sent. One way this will happen is by expanding the criteria which must be met for messages to be investigated, so that more messages are marked as abusive.

Twitter will employ more staff to deal with abusive messages, allowing more people to be reprimanded, as well as allowing third-parties to bring attention to abuse.

Such examples include if a threat was made to beat someone up; previously more details were required, such as whether a baseball bat would be used, and the location of the attack. However, these details will no longer be needed for action to be taken.

People who send abusive messages could be frozen out of their accounts for set periods of time, with the Twitter mobile and tablet app showing how long before they can return. There is also the possibility they will be required to remove all of their abusive messages, and verify their phone number, before being granted access again.

Taking such actions could help to calm a situation and remove the need for someone to receive a permanent ban, for cases where there was a ‘heat of the moment’ reaction.

The director of Twitter’s product management, Shreyas Doshi, said: “Our previous policy was unduly narrow, and limited our ability to act on certain kinds of threatening behaviour.

“The updated language better describes the range of prohibited content and our intention to act when users step over the line into abuse.”