It’s become far too easy for some to hid behind their computer screens, spewing hurtful insults at fellow social media users.
This is especially the case when we seem to have gone backwards with regards to racism, sexism and fat shaming as of late.
Finally, Twitter has decided to take action against its troll problem.
Today, Twitter announced it would crack down on harassment with new anti-trolling features and policy changes.
It’s part of a company-wide shift to address safety concerns and abuse on the social network.
The trolling problem has steadily gotten worse over the years – an issue that is backed by a growing body of data.
“Because Twitter happens in public and in real-time, we’ve had some challenges keeping up with and curbing abusive conduct. We took a step back to reset and take a new approach, find and focus on the most critical needs, and rapidly improve,” the company said in a statement admitting its shortcomings.
While the company has introduced a handful of changes in recent years (flagging abusive tweets, creating a safety council, introducing a quality filter), the announcement included new tools.
The changes include an expansion on the existing “mute” feature, which enables users to silence accounts they don’t want to see Tweets from.
Now, you can also mute notifications and block keywords, phrases, and even entire conversations you don’t want to hear about.
“This is a feature we’ve heard many of you ask for, and we’re going to keep listening to make it better and more comprehensive over time,” the company said.
Twitter has also improved upon the way users can report abuse.
Anyone who reports a tweet as “abusive or harmful” can now select from a list of options explaining why it is so. Furthermore, the company has developed new internal tools to effectively assist those who report abuse.
Its support teams have also been retrained through a new “rigorous” program, according to the company. This included “special sessions on cultural and historical contextualization of hateful conduct,” and the implementation of an ongoing refresher program.
The new features will roll out to everyone in the coming days.