Twitter vows to wage war on internet trolls

Twitter vows to wage war on internet trolls

Bruce Daisley, head of website in Europe, says it will expose the worst offenders by encouraging people to share lists of blocked users

By Tom Morgan 9:24AM GMT 26 Dec 2015

Twitter is giving its users new powers to block internet trolls amid claims abusive behaviour is hampering the social media site from catching up with Facebook.

Bruce Daisley, the head of Twitter in Europe, said the site would give its 320 millions users new tools to protect them from trolls and expose the worst offenders by encouraging people to share lists of blocked users.

Twitter, which celebrates its tenth birthday next year, is worth more than £22 billion but is lagging behind Facebook, which has more than one billion users and a valuation of £167 billion.

In February Dick Costolo, Twitter's former chief executive, admitted in an internal email that the company "sucked" at dealing with trolls.

But Mr Daisley now says the site has cracked down on nuisance users who hurl extreme abuse at those they disagree with. Measures include contacting suspected trolls to tell them "what you are doing here exists in the real world" and encouraging people to publish lists of users they have blocked.

"We have spent longer and more effort on user safety than any single other thing," Mr Daisley told The Independent newspaper.

"The measures we have done have directly correlated to a reduction in the amount of bad behaviour on the platform. The other part of the strategy has involved giving users new tools to block trolls and to expose the worst offenders by encouraging people to share their lists of blocked accounts."

Mr Daisley said the measures, introduced over the past year, had led to a massive increase in the number of reports and made people feel a lot safer.

The hacking group Anonymous recently claimed to have taken down 20,000 Twitter accounts that were supposedly "pro-Isis". Many of them had merely been written in Arabic. Others on the hit-list belonged to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and media outlets including BBC News.

Twitter recently launched its Moments feature in the UK, working with 18 media production partners to present the best Twitter stories of the day.


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