Twitter responds to complaints, will make it easier to report abusive tweets

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There’s been a firestorm on the other side of the Atlantic as men in the UK and around the world have exhibited misogyny and typed language peppered with sexual violence — all directed towards a feminist who led a campaign to have bank notes celebrate accomplished women, not just men.

One of the calls has been for an easy way to report abusive tweets — as well as response PDQ.

Earlier tonight I learned that Twitter had rolled out this functionality quietly on the iPhone application (that I do not use):

 

 

Alex Howard reports that Twitterwill be extending the ability to report tweets all of its hundreds of millions of active users around the world.”

Twitter hasn’t shared timelines for that extension yet, but aggrieved users in Britain and beyond should gain the ability to flag tweets with a couple of taps eventually.

The rub, as Howard makes very clear, is how to separate the wheat from the chaff — the true abusive reports from the spurious ones?

I have an answer, perhaps: there’s a penalty for truly spurious reports, not unlike Google’s three strikes policy on YouTube copyright violations. Not a penalty for a judgment call report, but for the off-the-wall, I’m-ticked-off-at-you report.

There has to be a cost associated with the behavior: false reporting and abusive speaking.

 

 

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