Twitter Beefs Up Its Anti-Troll Tools


Twitter announced a couple of
changes to the way it lets its users
deal with harassment today. The
company is making it easier for
people to report harassment, even
when it’s aimed at someone else,
and it’s giving the block feature
more power.

The reporting tools for harassment,
which have been redesigned for
mobile, will now be more
streamlined and conversational. It
will ask who is being affected (you
or someone else) and what the
nature of the harassment is—for
example if violent threats are being
made. If you are reporting
harassment yourself, there’s an
option to fill in more details. Tick
off those steps, and the company
will review the complaint and—it
says—act on them much faster than
it has in the past.

Block has gotten better too.
Previously, while blocking a person
kept them from following you, they
could still head over to your profile
page and see all your tweets. Now,
if you block someone, as long as
they are logged in, they won’t be
able to view anything on your
profile page. However, opening that
page in another, logged-out browser
will still let anyone see your public
tweets. But Twitter’s A/B testing
has apparently shown that when
people have to go to another
browser (or log out) to see a profile
that has blocked them, they are far
less likely to continue trying to
interact with it.

And because it’s making block a
little block-ier, Twitter is also
adding a page where you can see
everyone you’ve blocked in the
past. That will let you make sure
you’ve got your troll collection up to
date, and also let you move people
over to mute, or restore them
completely if they’re no longer
bothering you.

It’s all pretty good stuff, if a little
overdue. Twitter has been dealing
with harassment issues since its
earliest days, and has come under a
lot of fire, especially in the last two
years, for not doing more to protect
its users. These are small steps, but
they’re moving in the right
direction at least.


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