Host to an uptick

Rose Eveleth at the Atlantic reports on Twitter’s new moves to improve its practices on harassment. (Rose Eveleth herself got considerable harassment from people enraged at the objections to Matt Taylor’s shirt.)

It’s no secret that Twitter is currently playing host to an uptick in targeted harassment. The site has long provided an easy way for people to lob hostile and threatening messages into someone’s timeline, but things seem to be getting worse, not better. Gamergate targets like Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, and Breanna Wu have all been inundated with death and rape threats that have forced them to cancel talks and flee their homes. After her father’s death, Zelda Williams—Robin Williams’s daughter—quit the social network after sustained harassment. A recent Pew study found that half of women have been sexually harassed online.

Twitter is doing a couple of tiny tweaks, with possibly more to come.

Twitter says in its blog post that the updates, for most users, will be rolling out in a few weeks. A spokesperson from Twitter declined to comment on the record for this story.

Well it’s all very hush-hush, you see. The Nazis might overhear.


  1. Al Dente says

    From the linked article:

    And Twitter, she says, hasn’t dedicated the resources internally to investigate cases thoroughly and quickly.

    When harassment is reported to Twitter their normal response is a canned tweet thanking the harassee for reporting the harassment. That’s it. Twitter sends a vaguely congratulatory tweet promising to “investigate” the incident. Then the report is sent to the bit bucket.

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