CEO of Twitter Dick Costolo
In a blog post, the social network explained:
“We hope these changes help you connect more easily—and directly—on Twitter with the people, causes and businesses you care about most”.
Over the past few weeks, Twitter has introduced group messaging, boosted its ‘retweet’ feature and allowed users to share video more easily – in what many see as a new strategy to take on direct messaging competitors such as WhatsApp.
Tech sites have suggested the new private messaging option could allow big companies – and even celebrities – to advertise directly into your inbox. This could appeal to those who worry their messages are rapidly lost in Twitter’s constantly updating feed.
But it also heightens the risk of spam. And many are concerned about the potential for heightened online abuse.
The social network has been faced with increasing cases of trolling. In a leaked memo to staff, in February this year, CEO Dick Costolo said: “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years.
“It’s no secret that the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.”
John Nimmo and Isabella Sorley admitted sending sending rape and murder threats to feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez (PA)
A month later, in March, Twitter banned users from posting ‘revenge porn’.
In a move designed to crackdown on abuse and harassment on the social media site, intimate images or footage – uploaded without the consent of the person featured – are no longer be tolerated.
New rules, posted in the ‘privacy’ section of the site, state: “You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent.”
Users who violate the new revenge porn rules will have their accounts locked unless they delete the offending information. Those who repeatedly post such material will see their accounts suspended.
A spokesperson said: “Twitter is continuing to explore product solutions to allow us to act faster and more efficiently to protect our users”.