Twitter has announced changes to their app and policies with the specific aim of cutting down on online abuse and bullying. The changes will be rolling out over the course of the next few days and will bring a much enhanced mute feature. This new feature will not only allow you to mute a particular account (which you can already do) but also allow you to block keywords and emoji too. Notifications can also be muted after this update so if you are a victim of bullying or abuse on the service, you can quite literally turn that person or those words completely off in the app – and make your life a little bit easier.
Bullying and abuse has been a seemingly constant problem for Twitter. Many individuals have left the service for a wide range of abuse issues from gender, orientation and political views. Twitter in their update today stated that they know these changes won’t end it overnight but is working to try to cut it down.
In addition to the muting features, Twitter is also making some policy changes. The updated Hateful Conduct Policy is aimed to clearly lay out what is hate speech and makes it easier to report.
Our hateful conduct policy prohibits specific conduct that targets people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. Today we’re giving you a more direct way to report this type of conduct for yourself, or for others, whenever you see it happening. This will improve our ability to process these reports, which helps reduce the burden on the person experiencing the abuse, and helps to strengthen a culture of collective support on Twitter.
As part of the update, Twitter is also ramping up their enforcement teams to make sure the policies are followed.
Ultimately this is a great move to see and hopefully those who have been victims of bullying or hate on Twitter will see this as a positive too.