A mere few years since the problem came to wide public attention, Twitter has decided to do something about some of the desperate horrors that are committed on its network on a second-by-second basis.
The social media giant has announced the introduction of new rules that will apparently combat things like violent organisations, hate symbols, revenge porn and unwanted sexual advances.
A spokesperson earnestly intoned: ‘We hope our approach and upcoming changes, as well as our collaboration with the Trust and Safety Council, show how seriously we are rethinking our rules and how quickly we’re moving to update our policies and how we enforce them.’
I love the ‘how quickly’ bit. It’s been a cesspit of diabolical slime for years!
Anyhow, the changes have followed last week’s #womanboycotttwitter protest, which itself followed the suspension of actress Rose McGowan’s Twitter account after she tweeted tweets concerning the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Following this? I’m not sure how tweeting ‘#womenboycotttwitter’ could be effective, because you have to use Twitter to tweet it, don’t you?
But it did seem to work, because in response Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, tweeted: ‘We see voices being silenced on Twitter every day. We’ve been working to counteract this for the past 2 years. We prioritized this in 2016. We updated our policies and increased the size of our teams. It wasn’t enough.’
The new rules will see the responses to revenge porn and unwanted sexual advances beefed-up, while hateful imagery and symbols while be classified as ‘sensitive media’.
Meanwhile ‘organisations that use violence as a means to advance their cause’ will have ‘enforcement action’ taken against them, so I assume the US government’s account is going to be blocked pretty swiftly.
Not everyone’s happy about the move. Tweeting to CEO Dorsey, anti-harassment campaigner Brianna Wu said: ‘Unless you are investing more in personnel and training staff in subjects they may not understand, this isn’t going to solve it.’
So, undoubtedly plenty more twists and turns and tweets to come, then.