Twitter Rolls Out Anti-Bullying Measures for Verified Users

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Twitter has introduced a new “quality filter” for its verified users, after the social networking site’s CEO Dick Costolo admitted that they had been unsuccessful in preventing abusive comments and cyber bullying.

The site has been plagued by online bullying for years, with Twitter having displayed a great deal of ineptitude towards tackling the issue, allowing harassers to continue threatening other users. Numerous prominent public figures and celebrities frequently find themselves on the receiving end of a torrent of abuse on the site, leading many calling for the site to take more action when it comes to punishing those who are responsible.

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ThinkUp co-founder Anil Dash has now brought it to our attention that Twitter is taking a great stride towards making the social network a safe place for its users (or at least its verified ones), introducing a quality filter that aims to remove all threatening, offensive or abusive language from its user’s notifications timeline.

Previously, users could block accounts from viewing their profile and tweeting to them, though this would still inevitably mean that they could see the messages posted to them before they had blocked the offending accounts. Twitter hopes that the quality filter will ensure that this is no longer the case, immediately filtering out any messages that are perceived as harmful from popping up in a user’s notifications.

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Zelda Williams briefly left Twitter after revealing the extent of the threatening messages she had received in the wake of her father’s passing.

The tool is first being tentatively rolled out to verified users on iOS, with Twitter not having revealed when it will come to Android and if it will eventually make its way into the hands of non-verified users. Last year a huge spotlight was placed over Twitter’s poor handling of online abuse, with incidents such as the online abuse suffered by Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda following the late actor’s death and the GamerGate debacle emphasizing the little effort Twitter was making to ensure the safety of its users. Numerous reports highlighted the myriad of death threats that had been sent to users of the site, with Twitter belatedly responding by setting up features that allow users to report online abuse more effectively, along with allowing them to send reports of threatening behavior that could be sent to law enforcement officials.

Though there’s no excusing the length of time it has taken Twitter to address these issues, it’s heartening that they’re finally looking towards making the site a safer place for its users. 

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