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Twitter launches Trust and Safety Council to help put end to trolling

Tue 9 Feb 2016

Twitter troll

Marking Safer Internet Day, Twitter has announced the introduction of a new trust and safety council to stamp out bullying and trolling on the microblogging site.

The Twitter Trust & Safety Council will initially be formed of around 40 bodies, including the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, EU Kids Online, ICT Watch, National Cyber Security Alliance, NetSafe, and Samaritans.

These organisations, along with safety experts, academics and security researchers, will work to ensure a safe and secure platform for users to express themselves freely and without fear.

The company said in a release that the Council’s main focus will be to protect minors, encourage ‘greater compassion and empathy on the internet,’ and promote efforts in media literacy and digital citizenship. It added that community groups will also participate to help prevent online ‘abuse, harassment, and bullying,’ as well as mental health problems and suicide.

Twittter argued that in order to guarantee that its members can continue to express themselves freely and safely, more tools and policies must be implemented. “With hundreds of millions of Tweets sent per day, the volume of content on Twitter is massive, which makes it extraordinarily complex to strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power,” said the site’s head of global policy outreach, Patricia Cartes.

“It requires a multi-layered approach where each of our 320 million users has a part to play, as do the community of experts working for safety and free expression,” she continued.

In 2015, former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo had commented: “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years […] It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.”

Following this acknowledgement, the firm has made increasing moves to improve how it tackles the issue. Last June, it launched an anti-troll tool which allows users to share a list of blocked members with others suffering from harassment. Importing and exporting these lists has provided a useful feature for the bulk blocking known trolls.


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