Kathryn Lindsay
Updated Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:21 pm

We all know that Twitter doesn’t have the best track record for keeping people safe from harassment. Prominent users, especially women, suffer from repeated trolls and insults on the regular. In fact, Lindy West did a whole piece showcasing threatening and hurtful tweets that Twitter said “didn’t count” as online harassment. It looks like now, they’re changing their tune:

Sounds awesome, but what does it mean? Essentially, the support team on Twitter now has the ability to “lock out” certain users engaging in abusive behavior. If someone is going on a spree of harassment and bullying, Twitter can swoop in and put them in time-out, locking them out of their accounts for a certain period of time.

They’ve also updated their “violent threats policy” to include not just “direct, specific threats of violence,” but now also “threats of violence against others or promot[ing] violence against others.” This language is much more inclusive of all types of harassment, which should mean women shouldn’t have to jump through any more hurdles to get their abusers outta there.

These policy revisions come with a software update as well, a new technology that should better identify tweets that count as harassment so these new rules can be quickly enforced.

Not only does this mean that any trolls who find you will get justice, but in the long run, it should prevent them from ever appearing in the first place. Abuse used to be commonplace on Twitter, but with this crackdown, the space will transform from a minefield of hurt to what it really should be: a place to tweet Zayn begging him to come back to One Direction.

(Image via here.)