Yesha Callahan

Twitter Updates Its Policy For Reporting Rape Threats


Last week,  a British feminist was attacked on Twitter with threats of rape, along with three journalists receiving bomb threats.  Yes, people in the world are crazy.  In response to the abusive behavior exhibited by the assholes of the micro-blogging site, Twitter says it is introducing a one-click button to report abuse and updating its rules to clarify that it will not tolerate abusive behavior.

“I personally apologise to the women who have experienced abuse on Twitter and for what they have gone through,” Twitter’s general manager in the UK, Tony Wang, tweeted on Saturday. He added, “The abuse they’ve received is simply not acceptable. It’s not acceptable in the real world, and it’s not acceptable on Twitter.”

The new one-click button will make it easier to report abusive behavior. Gone are the days of having to fill out an abuse report form.

In an interview with MSNBC, writer and political analyst Zerlina Maxwell said revamping of the policies isn’t enough.

“Sometimes, [abusers] just pop back up, and I think that’s the issue that is more important for Twitter to take care of,” said Maxwell, herself a rape survivor and a victim of online rape threats. “There needs to be a way to hold them accountable.” The threats, she said, are “definitely not slowing.”

Maxwell suggested that Twitter develop a tighter relationship with law enforcement so that online abusers cannot simply create a new anonymous account when they’re suspended.

“We are committed to making Twitter a safe place for our users,” the site’s officials noted. “We are adding additional staff to the teams that handle abuse reports and are exploring new ways of using technology to improve everyone’s experience on Twitter. We’re here, and we’re listening to you.”

One day people will realize when they use their freedom of speech to make death and rape threats, it may come with repercussions.

  1. August 6, 2013 - Reply

    I wish there was a way to create an algorithm for filtering certain kinds of tweets.

  2. August 6, 2013 - Reply

    I’m glad Twitter is no longer going to be tolerating rape & death threats, but that’s not a clarification of policy. That’s a *change* in policy. @FemFreq regularly reports threats against her, and has always gotten the response “The account is currently not in violation of the Twitter Rules.”

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: