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):
I don’t use Twitter for iPhone so was unaware of “report this tweet” feature. Bravo. API for other clients? pic.twitter.com/s45chCEHVX
— Kathy E Gill (@kegill) July 28, 2013
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.