Twitter checks off last item on boycott-sparked list with updated reporting tools

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Twitter has checked off the final item on the list of sweeping changes to prevent abuse on the platform, prompted by #WomenBoycottTwitter. On December 10, Twitter globally launched updated reporting tools that allow users to report threatening and abusive posts or other Tweets that don’t follow the Community Guidelines.

In a tweet, Twitter shared a sample of the new in-app notification users will receive on the progress of any submitted reports, cheekily using Super Mario villain Waluigi as an example. With the update, users will see the results of any reported tweets, as well as listing what rules the user violated.

The option to report tweets isn’t new, but the process received an update as part of the platform’s wider changes designed to prevent abuse on the platform. Users can report a tweet by tapping the arrow icon by the tweet or report an entire account by clicking on the settings icon. Users reporting a tweet can select more than one tweet to give evaluators more data on how the user is violating the platform’s rules, Twitter says.

The update to the reporting process was the last on the calendar of scheduled updates the platform shared in the wake of #WomenBoycottTwitter. Sparked when an actress’ account was suspended after calling out sexual abuse via tweet, Twitter responded with a list of changes they would make over the following months.

The changes covered several different areas, all while Twitter pledged for greater transparency by updating users along the way through the @TwitterSafety account. Twitter now has stronger rules against non-consensual nudity, unwanted sexual advances, sensitive media, spam, hate speech, and violence. Changes also applied to content inside the user’s Twitter handle and profile image, while entire violent groups were removed from the platform.

Along with the changes, Twitter also added new tools so users can see why their account was suspended, including an email listing the violations. The updated reporting tools also allow the user who reported the tweet in the first place to see if the report resulted in any actions from Twitter, including details on why (or why not). Some of those changes were designed for greater transparency since Twitter later shared that the suspended tweet that started the boycott was for sharing a phone number, not the content of the discussion.

While the list of changes was sparked by #WomenBoycottTwitter, several previous incidents had users pushing for more tools to prevent abuse on the platform. Twitter is also expected to testify before a Senate committee, along with YouTube and Facebook, on preventing the spread of extremist content next week.

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