Doxxing, and the death threats and swatting that almost invariably follow, is one of the nastiest tools of internet trolls worldwide. Twitter is on the front lines of the online abuse problem, but thus far they have been fighting a fairly pathetic losing battle. The company’s latest update hopes to turn that around.
Earlier today, Twitter announced that its recently-revamped reporting system had been expanded to add categories for “impersonation, self-harm and the sharing of private and confidential information”. To give these new categories some teeth, it also announced unspecified “new enforcement actions”. According to Ars Technica, that will include a contact-information verification system for some users — basically, if you’ve been temporarily banned, you may need to supply a phone number or email address to get access back (presumably, in a YouTube-style effort to de-anonymise the system).
In the blog post, Twitter also mentioned that its reporting system updates, which rolled out in December, have led to a five-fold increase in the number of abuse reports, and a tripling in the size of the staff that deal with them. Although Twitter still isn’t a virtuous rainbows-and-unicorns online community, things are definitely moving in the right direction. [Twitter via Ars Technica]