Jul 29 2013

Twitter says oh all right

It will add a report abuse button.

Twitter today said it had introduced a button for reporting abuse on its latest iPhone app and is now looking to expand this function.

A spokesman said: “The ability to report individual Tweets for abuse is currently available on Twitter for iPhone, and we plan to bring this functionality to other platforms, including Android and the web.

“We don’t comment on individual accounts. However, we have rules which people agree to abide by when they sign up to Twitter.

“We will suspend accounts that once reported to us, are found to be in breach of our rules. We encourage users to report an account for violation of the Twitter rules by using one of our report forms.”

Ms Criado Perez, who has received support from MPs and celebrities, said: “It’s sadly not unusual to get this kind of abuse but I’ve never seen it get as intense or aggressive as this.

“It’s infuriating that the price you pay for standing up for women is 24 hours of rape threats. We are showing that by standing together we can make a real difference.”



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  1. 1
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    I’m pretty sure this is going to be a terrible thing.

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Yes? Why?

    I think it’s more likely to be nothing than terrible.

  3. 3
    Maureen Brian

    There’s an excellent 5-way discussion going on right know on BBC 2 Newsnight. Much, much better than Laurie Penny vs Luke Guitos on Channel 4 News early where all Luke could think to do was change the subject!!!

    I wish I had the computer know-how to get you a link to Newsnight. Perhaps someone else knows how to do it?

  4. 4
    lee deLay

    Well, we will see how long it takes to happen, if its functioning and then know weather this is just lip service or not. >_>

  5. 5
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ophelia, I’m concerned about the sort of concerted bullying like you’ve seen being replaced by concerted abuse button usage to shut you up.

  6. 6

    What Improbable Joe said. I saw someone suggest what seems like a much more sensible approach whereby twitter users had a “my account is being targeted” type button that would flag your account to a team of twitter mods to assess the situation and if necessary act to identify the trolls and take appropriate action over whatever time period necessary. Obviously a more expensive option but one that would demonstrate Twitter’s commitment to taking this seriously.

  7. 7

    My prediction… It’ll make no difference as being able to report abuse with a button matters not one whit if they don’t see rape threats and doxxing as against their terms of service. I was amazed when reporting a doxxer who was targeting people who could be in real danger if their IRL identity was revealed and Twitter responded with not against the rules. Seems very little is.

    Should be campaigning for the rules to be changed as well.

  8. 8
    Ophelia Benson

    Drat, too late anyway, Maureen – I didn’t check back until now.

  9. 9
    Ophelia Benson

    Well yes – if the rules remain the same then clearly nothing will happen.

  10. 10
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    And then you have assholes like this:

    But if we are having a grown up conversation about what is and isn’t offensive, can we Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and All Of The Above be a part of it, too? Or is only liberal secularists who are allowed to take offence?

  11. 11
    Ophelia Benson


    If people are threatening to rape you or ranting about how disgusting your genitals are, yes. If they’re merely disagreeing with your religion, no.

  12. 12

    This is going to be a “I disagree” button for people who equate their politics with their own beings.

  13. 13

    Remember what happened to Anita Sarkeesian’s second “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games”? It was taken down on YouTube because enough people reported it. This is going to happen on Twitter now and Women of color, trans people and sexworkers are going to have a very hard time getting their accounts re-instated.

  14. 14
    Ophelia Benson

    Why are women of color, trans people and sexworkers going to have a harder time getting their accounts re-instated than other people? I keep seeing this announced, as if it were self-evident, but I never see any reasons why that would be case. Women of color will have a hard time but white women won’t? Women of color will have a hard time but men of color won’t? Trans people will have a hard time but cis people won’t? (But if that’s true – what about cis women of color? You said they’ll have a hard time. Now you’re saying they won’t?) Sex workers will have a hard time but people who clean toilets won’t?

  15. 15

    Hehe. So, women of color and trans people were going to be the first ones to get their accounts suspended due to reporting brigades, eh?

    You know who’s been suspended and who hasn’t lately?

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