Twitter has apparently become one of ‘those social networks’, where threats are a common thing because and rape and bomb threats showed up recently among Twitter users. Twitter reacted really fast on these suspicious tweets, setting new ground rules for its users. The company said that it will add more staff in order to deal with flagged tweets. These suspicious tweets showed up to female journalists in Britain, even Parliament member was exposed to these threats.
Because of these online threats, there was a boycott scheduled for this service. Twitter didn’t let this happen reacting quickly and updating its rules. This company has announced these new rules in a blog post that includes the changes in its staff members and retailers. The “report abuse” button will be included into web and mobile site versions. Tony Wang, Twitter GM in the U.K, confirmed that these changes will occur worldwide.
Wang apologized to all the women who have been exposed to this abuse through Twitter. He wrote these couple of times through follow-up tweets. He added that this threat tweets are not acceptable in real world and definitely not acceptable on Twitter. The only thing that remains for them to do is to protect the users against abuse of this kind.
These new rules include Spam and Abuse section that will target the abuse. The determination factors for considering harassment or abuse are:
- Sending several messages to users through multiple accounts
- If your account is meant for sending abusive messages to others
- If the behavior which is reported includes threats and is one-sided
The blog post included some measures that will occur only in the U.K. The UK safer Internet Center will expand its user resources on staying safe online and on digital citizenship. For this purpose, it will use the Twitter platform to publicize its meant resources and this center.
It seems that everything started with Caroline Criado-Perez, who received several abusive tweets which included rape threats. She and others called Twitter to deal with the abusive tweets and to take responsibility for the content showing on its site. Right after this situation, Scotland Yard has arrested a man who was connected with these abusive tweets. Others like Stella Creasy, Parliament Member, and Catherine Mayer, Europe Editor for Time magazine, received rape and bomb threats respectively. These threats came after the previously mentioned arrest.
The situation led to a boycott call for the service in the U.K. This call was started by Caitlin Moran for boycotting Twitter on August 4. Twitter responded with updated rules and we expect to see lots of satisfied users.
When a social network is in question, these kind of abusive threats are expected but the company needs to do everything to protect its users. We will see how these added rules will strengthen up the security.