Twitter has been harshly criticized throughout its past for allowing trolls, bullies, and harassing content to find its way on the social network – and live there far beyond anytime it should ordinarily. Now though, the company is working with a non-profit called Women, Action & Media, or WAM, on a reporting tool that will ensure issues of harassment are being handled in a quick and meaningful way.
The new tool will monitor reports as they come in, and ensure that they are responded to within 24 hours, and track the reports that are made throughout the process to make Twitter’s guidelines more effectively regulated going forward. The group, WAM, will be the entity that reports and tracks the complaints and reports of harassment.
Recently, gender-based complaints have been the biggest factor in pushing this system through. However, some have referred combatting online harassment, especially on social networks like Twitter, to playing a continued game of Whack-a-mole. Over time, it becomes challenging, as users are inevitably just driven to creating new accounts, where they can continue their harassing. That though is where the system hopes to begin to do some damage to those who are doing the harassing.
The system that’s being put into action isn’t necessarily there to stop individual cases of harassment as much as it is to shape the future policy that Twitter can more regularly enforce. In other words, better determine what issues are real, what issues aren’t issues, and where the opportunity is to block content that is damaging to people, or is really just hateful harassment. This though, according to many, is a great sign that Twitter is taking the issue seriously as a whole. That’s something that much thought would never be seen as the company continues to grow larger, and the racial, sexual, and hateful slurs continued to grow larger in number.
It will be interesting to see how this policy works out, and how the rest of the Twitter community will react to it, as it develops and gains more steam.