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UPDATE: Twitter Responds To Concerns About Reporting Abuse

Submitted by on July 31, 2013 – 8:10 am2 Comments

Several days after a feminist advocate began to raise concerns over Twitter’s response to threats and abuse, the microblogging site has assured concerned user that it “hears them.” In a blog post, Twitter UK promised certain steps and continuing examination of the problem; but some say it’s still not enough.

The uproar began when the British government announced on July 25th that author Jane Austen would be featured on the 10£ note, making her the first woman besides the queen to have this distinction. The leader of the movement to feature Austen, writer and women’s rights advocate Caroline Criado-Perez, immediately began to receive threats of death and rape via her Twitter account. MP Stella Creasy received similar comments after speaking up.

Del Harvey, the Senior Director of Trust and Safety, confirmed the site would follow through on a major technological demand of protesters:

To the extent that our system is based around the filing of reports with our Trust & Safety team, we strive to make it easier and more practical to file them. Three weeks ago, we rolled out the ability to file reports from an individual Tweet on our iPhone app and the mobile version of our site, and we plan to bring this functionality to Android and desktop web users.

We are constantly talking with our users, advocacy groups, and government officials to see how we can improve Twitter, and will continue to do so.

The expansion of the “Report Abuse” button was the purpose of a petition on Change.org that eventually garnered over 100,000 electronic signatures.

But according to ABC News, Criado-Perez and Creasy both feel the Report Abuse button links to a form which is “too long and impractical.” Daniel Nye Griffths at Forbes points out that the form’s many free text fields make it difficult to use in mobile, meaning it is still easier to make a harassing comment than report it.

What do you think? Is Twitter doing enough to address the issue?

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