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02-10 Twitter introduces changes to crack down on online abuse

Twitter introduces changes to crack down on online abuse

Social media platforms provide users with a mixture of anonymity and fame, where they can have their voices heard throughout the world and yet avoid any repercussions for their words and deeds online. This type of power has caused many social media platforms to become havens for abuse and harassment.

One social media platform, Twitter, is now taking steps to make itself “a safer place,” as the company recently announced that it would roll out more controls to cut down on cyber-bullying.

New Twitter rules

The company said it will implement three main changes. The first is to identify individuals who have been permanently suspended from forming new accounts. This will require more monitoring to catch false identities and email accounts.

The second change concerns abusive comments. The company said it would remove tweets containing sensitive content and it will remove these types of comments from blocked and muted accounts. Twitter said customers will have greater control over the content they can view.

The company is committed to retraining support personnel on its hateful conduct policy. It also planned to fine-tune internal controls and systems to better deal with hateful comments when re reported. Twitter also said it would put into place controls preventing disparaging and hostile comments from being retweeted.

These changes follow previous efforts from Twitter to curb hatred spreading through its platform. In June 2016, Twitter improved its block button so that users would not see tweets from users they had blocked that had been retweeted by others.

When social media becomes harmful 

Twitter’s actions come not a day too soon, as cyber-bullying has become an increasingly high-profile problem among teens. First Lady Melania Trump announced during the election in 2016 that she would tackle cyber-bullying if her husband was elected. According to Nobullying.com:

  • Nearly 43 percent children have experienced online bullying
  • 70 percent students reported seeing frequent bullying online
  • 90 percent teenagers who have seen online bullying do nothing about it
  • About 75 percent teenagers visited a website that bashes a fellow student

Internet addiction, often driven by the compulsive need to post and check social media updates, can exacerbate the problem of bullying. Sovereign Health understands how cyber-bullying and social media addiction can damage lives, lead to substance abuse, and cause serious mental disorders. Our adolescent programs for mental illness, addiction and dual diagnosis include treatment for bullying and compulsive internet usage. Contact our 24/7 helpline for more information.

About the author

Darren Fraser is a content writer for Sovereign Health. He worked two and half years as reporter and researcher for The Yomiuri Shimbun until they realized he did not read, speak or write Japanese and fired him. Undeterred, he channels his love of research into unearthing stories that provide hope to those dealing with addiction and mental illness. Darren loves the Montreal Canadiens hockey club, Fichte and horror films and would prefer to enjoy these from the comforts of his family’s farm in Quebec. For more information about this media, contact the author at news@sovhealth.com

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