Twitter has had many problems with trolling and toxic accounts. Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo has owned up to the problem, and more than a year the site has worked to improve its reporting tools. Now Twitter has made it easier to document abuse and bring it to the attention of law enforcement.
An official blog posts states:
[A]fter filing a report regarding a threatening Tweet directed at you, you’ll see an option on the last screen to receive a summary of your report via email. Clicking the ‘Email report’ button will send you an email that packages the threatening Tweet and URL along with the responsible Twitter username and URL and a time-stamp as well as your account information and the time-stamp of your report.
The purpose of this email report is to make it easier to point to the threatening content that has been directed at a user. The email report will also provide time-stamped evidence, which seems like a very helpful feature when attempting to establish a timeline for the abuse, if the abuse is ongoing.
Users are still required to contact law enforcement agencies themselves, and the post advises that they do so if they are concerned about their safety.
Twitter has made some missteps when it comes to privacy and safety on the site as it relates to abuse. A new phone number requirement may be causing problems for Tor network users, and that’s problematic because there’s evidence that domestic abuse survivors have been taking to the Tor Network to escape their abusers.
Needless to say, this is still a positive move. If the abuse problem on Twitter continues, it will be necessary to involve the police. If users have a record of the abuse and Twitter is willing to share further information with the police, this could be a big step forward.