Twitter now lets you flag multiple abusive Tweets at once

Steven Loeb · April 25, 2016 · Short URL:

Reporting abuse is now faster and easier, as Twitter tries to make the site safe for new users

Possibly due to its more open, and real-time, nature, Twitter seems to have a bigger abuse problem than other social networks. While it has been trying to crack down on these issues, there are still impediments to users feeling safe.

Sometimes, for example, abuse doesn't just happen once; it can go on for a long time before it's ever reported. Yet Twitter might only be able to be notified about one instance, and not understand the pattern. Rather it would be up to the victim to report each one individually.

Now the company is finally fixing that problem, announcing on Monday that it is giving users  the ability to attach multiple Tweets to a single report.

"We want everyone on Twitter to feel safe expressing themselves. Behavior that crosses the line into abuse is against our rules and we want it to be easy for you to report it to us,"  Hao Tang, aTwitter safety engineer, wrote in a blog post.

"This update makes it easier for you to provide us with more information about the extent of abuse and reduces the time it takes to do so. That added context often helps us investigate issues and get them resolved faster."

Right now, users can only report multiple Tweets from same account; the company is not currently allowing them to report multiple users at the same time, in cases where there might be mass harassment of a single user.

I have asked Twitter if they plan to eventually include such a feature. We will update this story if we learn more. 

This might seem like a relatively small step for Twitter to take, but it does fit into a larger pattern of the company trying to make its network feel as safe as possible, as it tries desperately to get new users to join.

In December the company updated its Rules in order to crack down on "abusive behaviour and hateful conduct." That meant adding a section entitled "Abusive Behavior," along with beefed up language about just how strongly Twitter feels about abuse on the site.

Twitter also added a new section on hateful conduct on the site.

This came after Twitter tripled the size of its team, and gave users new tools to help combat abuse. It also set up the Twitter Safety Centre to help give users a better education on what is, and is not, abuse.

It's been over a year since then-CEO Dick Costolo wrote an internal memo, in which he told his staff that Twitter they "suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform."

"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," he wrote.

Even with a memo that harsh, progress has been slow. Yet any time Twitter can actually make it easier, and faster, for users to report abuse, it's a victory.

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