Twitter keeps promise to expand abuse reporting

Steven Loeb · August 29, 2013 · Short URL:

Report abuse button, which was already available on Twitter for iPhone, now on desktop and Android

Twitter has come under scruntiny lately for not giving its users enough resources to defend themselves from abusive attacks on the site.

In response, Twitter promised to make the sight safer for its users, and give them more options for reporting abuse. The site has now kept its word and released an update to, as well as its Android app, that will allow users to report abuse.

The feature, which was already available on Twitter for iPhone, will be rolling out gradually, it was announced Wednesday. 

The outcry against Twitter started when Caroline Criado-Perez, a freelance journalist who is also the co-founder of and the Week Woman blog, was barraged with a series of rape threats last week, following her successful campaign to get Jane Austen's face onto the 10 pound note.

In response, a petition was started to get Twitter to add a "report abuse" button to the site.

"It is time Twitter took a zero tolerance policy on abuse, and learns to tell the difference between abuse and defence. Women standing up to abuse should not fear having their accounts cancelled because Twitter fail to see the issue at hand," the petition wrote in an open letter directed at Twitter.

The report abuse button needs to be accompanied by Twitter reviewing the T&C on abusive behaviour to reflect an awareness of the complexity of violence against women, and the multiple oppressions women face."

The petition, which started on Saturday, now has a total of 139,806 signatures.

This is not the first action Twitter has taken to step up its game recently. The company also announced that it was going to be working with the UK Safer Internet Centre to expand its user resources on digital citizenship and staying safe online.

The site also updated its rules to better define "targeted harassment."

Other updates

Twitter also announced two other updates Wednesday.

It updated how users are able to see, and participate in, conversations. Users will be able to see full conversations between users, instead of random @replies without any context.

Conversations are now shown with a blue line between them on the left hand side. The first tweet appears at the top and, if there are more than two replies, clicking on the blue line will show all the replies in that conversation.

"To date, such exchanges haven’t always been easy to follow. With this in mind, we’ve now made it easier for you to see conversations as they’re taking place," said Twitter. 

In addition, users are now able to share conversations over e-mail, even if the recipeient is not on Twitter.O n iPhone and Android, individual Tweets can be shared over email, and on Android they can be shared via direct message as well.

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