UK Twitter chief apologises for online abuse

Aug 03, 2013
Twitter's UK general manager apologised Saturday to women attacked by 'trolls' on the microblogging website, as it updated its rules on abusive behaviour. Tony Wang posted a series of tweets saying abuse was "simply not acceptable", after Britain's police said they were investigating allegations made by eight people.

Twitter's UK general manager apologised Saturday to women attacked by "trolls" on the microblogging website, as it updated its rules on abusive behaviour.

Tony Wang posted a series of tweets saying abuse was "simply not acceptable", after Britain's police said they were investigating allegations made by eight people.

It comes after three female journalists said they had been the subject of bomb threats, while two received threats of rape.

"I personally apologize to the women who have experienced abuse on Twitter and for what they have gone through," Wang wrote.

"The abuse they've received is simply not acceptable. It's not acceptable in the real world, and it's not acceptable on Twitter.

"There is more we can and will be doing to protect our users against abuse. That is our commitment."

An calling for Twitter to add a "report abuse" button to tweets has attracted more than 120,000 signatures.

In a message, Wang and Del Harvey, Twitter's senior director for trust and safety, said: "It comes down to this: people deserve to feel safe on Twitter."

They said the clarified rules make clear that Twitter will not tolerate abusive behaviour, and an "in-tweet" report button has been added so people can report abusive behaviour directly from a .

This handout image received on July 24, 2013 shows a concept image of a new Ten Pound Note featuring late British author Jane Austen. High-profile women in Britain have long complained of online harassment, but the issue reached front pages last week when feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez met with a barrage of abuse after successfully lobbying for Jane Austen to appear on a banknote.

"We want people to feel safe on Twitter, and we want the Twitter rules to send a clear message to anyone who thought that such behaviour was, or could ever be, acceptable," they wrote.

They said extra staff were being added to the teams handling abuse reports.

Britain's Scotland Yard police headquarters said an investigation had been launched into eight of "malicious communication" made on the site.

High-profile women in Britain have long complained of online , but the issue reached front pages last week when feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez met with a barrage of after successfully lobbying for novelist Jane Austen to appear on a banknote.

The 29-year-old said Saturday: "The current process is lengthy, complicated and impossible to use if you're under sustained attack like I have been.

"Right now, all the emphasis is on the victim, often under intense pressure, to report rather than for Twitter to track down the perpetrator and stop them.

"This will take time, investment and properly trained and paid staff—but it's crucial they get this right."

Two British men were arrested after Criado-Perez and two female lawmakers reported menacing tweets to police.

Explore further: 'Anti-Facebook' social network gets fresh funding

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Twitter threats highlight blight of online trolls

Aug 01, 2013

If Twitter is the chirping chatterbox of the Internet, trolls are its dark underground denizens. The collision of the two is driving a debate in Britain about the scale of online hatred and the limits of ...

Twitter gives France data in anti-Semitic posts

Jul 14, 2013

Twitter has given French authorities information that can help identify the authors of a series of racist and anti-Semitic tweets that carried French hashtags, and the social media site also has agreed to work with a Jewish ...

Twitter unveils email sharing

Nov 16, 2012

Twitter introduced a new feature to the globally popular one-to-many text messaging service—the ability to email "Tweets" directly from the message stream.

Recommended for you

Facebook goes retro with 'Rooms' chat app

52 minutes ago

Facebook on Thursday released an application that lets people create virtual "rooms" to chat about whatever they wish using any name they would like.

Some online shoppers pay more than others, study shows

2 hours ago

Internet users regularly receive all kinds of personalized content, from Google search results to product recommendations on Amazon. This is thanks to the complex algorithms that produce results based on users' profiles and ...

Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

23 hours ago

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

Oct 22, 2014

Google is introducing an application designed to make it easier for its Gmail users to find and manage important information that can often become buried in their inboxes.

User comments : 0