Twitter to Fix Its Abuse Reporting FeatureAdded: Monday, May 19th, 2014
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After Twitter made changes to its form for reporting abuse, the row about harassment on the network has reignited. Apparently, the company will have to fix a bug in its abuse reporting feature, because it led to Twitter being accused of optimizing its platform for abusers rather than for users who need protection.
However, the critics still argue that even after the bug is fixed, Twitter still won’t be doing enough to protect at-risk individuals from abuse. For example, Caroline Criado-Perez, a feminist known for leading the successful campaign to represent women on English and Welsh banknotes, argued that a change in Twitter abuse forms just optimized the microblog platform for abusers.
She pointed out that less than a year ago Twitter started to automatically include links to abusive tweets in the form, but has now removed this feature with no comments. This complicates the process of reporting the abuse – although it takes just 5 minutes longer than before, if you face harassment several times a day, this time starts to mount up.
In response, the company claimed that the change was a mistake and everything would be brought back to normal. An error was introduced when Twitter was updating the code which links the report abuse button to real forms. It is only a system bug that the tweet URL is not auto-populating – not an intended measure of the company.
But this explanation was not enough for Criado-Perez, who claim that Twitter lacks progress on preventing abuse. She remains very disappointed that all promises of the company to protect at-risk category of bloggers appeared just a “first” (and the last) step.
Caroline explained that five months ago, Twitter made changes that went in the absolute opposite direction from what its users expected from the blocking system. Now many people are concerned about how easy it is to stalk and incite abuse with the current system. Criado-Perez even tried to underscore the level of abuse the campaigners like her receive on Twitter. They published a selection of the abusive messages received in the past year, which contained their home addresses, emails and phone numbers. In the messages, the harassers threatened them with rape, bomb and other things.
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Monday, May 19th, 2014
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