Internet trolls: we’ve all encountered them. Whether we’ve seen them terrorize celebrities and athletes, or experienced their venomous nonsense firsthand, we know that they’re a huge problem plaguing everything from news story comment threads to our favorite social media sites.
Some people choose to ignore trolls, while others block or hilariously school them, but ultimately, trolls just expel negativity and ruin the Internet for the rest of us. Luckily, Twitter has pledged to do something about it in 2016.
According to The Telegraph, Bruce Daisley, who heads Twitter in Europe, says Twitter is giving its users new ways to protect themselves from trolls. Twitter is a hugely popular platform with over 320 million users, but in comparison to Facebook’s over one billion users, it can seem rather small. Some look to Twitter’s lack of dealing with trolls as part of the reason for this wide discrepancy, citing abusive behavior by some users as the main hindrance to Twitter’s growth.
Internal emails from Twitter’s executives have acknowledged the problem: former chief executive Dick Costolo even wrote that the company “sucked” at tackling trolls. However, Daisley said the site has already shown its commitment to discouraging trolls and their bad behavior: “We have spent longer and more effort on user safety than any other single thing,” he told The Independent.
Twitter’s new measures include contacting suspected trolls, giving users new tools for troll-blocking, and encouraging users to share lists of accounts they’ve blocked. Daisley claims these strategies have already begun to work: “The measures we have done have directly correlated to a reduction in the amount of bad behavior on the platform.” As a result, users feel much safer on the platform, and have strategies and support in place when they do encounter trolls.
We don’t know if these measures will enable Twitter to grow as giant as Facebook, but we are certainly grateful the added safety on the platform.
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