Microblogging is no longer supportive of the abusively overused freedom of speech. At least for Twitter, that is.
As an answer to its much doubted anti-abuse policies, the online soapbox has now introduced some new anti-harassment tools that will make blocking people and reporting spam a lot easier and more specific.
So, what are these big changes the site has cooked up?
Earlier, spam reporting over the microblogging podium was pretty troublesome. But, what Twitter has introduced now is a more defined process, lengthy, but very effective. The hassles of undergoing troubles of answering to a host of question before actually completing an abuse report have been overtaken by the renovations done. The bonus point is that, now we can even report impersonations or suicides on our own or even on behalf of another victimized user. This step, in particular, that goes on to stop cyberbullying in a way, really deserves an applause.
How do the new tools work?
Choose a problem to report and you’ll be given a list of options. For instance, if one is to report an incident of harassment done over Twitter, the first option to pop up would be that of a ‘who,’ meaning, whether it’s you or someone else. Next, you’ll be asked to choose your option to define the type of harassment done. These features have been so designed that the platform runs with ease in mobiles without the process asking for boring initial information. Faster the report, the faster is the action taken against the trouble.
Can a blocked person still view your profile or respond to your tweets?
Not any more. The new tools restrict blocked users from viewing the profiles of the ones who have blocked them. On the other hand, a user can view the profiles he has blocked in a separate section. Whether to unblock the ones existing in this section or whether to add new ones will entirely depend on the user.
But, of course, a blocked person can view this user’s public tweets simply by logging out of his profile. Having seen how GamerGate had lashed out on feminist speaker Anita Sarkeesian and indie game developers Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn, this seems like a big shortcoming, rather.
What about anonymous accounts?
Sadly, the microblogging site still has no issues against them. In a way, this is good for those following an authoritarian regime. But, if we pick up cases like the harassment of Robin William’s daughter, Zelda, post his death, and analyze them, the need of some stringency for anonymous accounts seems very essential. Are the changes subtle, much, then? We still are to figure this out.
Still and all, while cyberbullying is a serious matter and a criminal offense, Twitter, in the past, only seemed to have fuelled it more, rather than be proactive. In this regard, the fresh steps this microblogging platform has taken, have hit positive, ardent users like a gush of fresh air, and those ever upto some mischief, like a bolt from the seven hells. So far, so good.