The long awaited policy boost for Twitter is finally here. Twitter had been criticized for not doing enough to protect its users for a while now and the recent action taken by Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones to leave the service as a result of a torrent of racist and sexist abuse, has triggered the taking of some measures by Twitter.
Twitter has launched a crackdown on abuse by banning some of its users, some were banned forever. Before now, Leslie Jones had complained and shared some of the abusive tweets that has been targeted her after she starred in the new movie. She then announced that the site wasn’t doing enough to keep her safe and that she would leave it. Obviously she kept on receiving those kind of tweets and now, sadly, she’s left twitter after this last tweet.
I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this cause I did a movie. You can hate the movie but the shit I got today…wrong.
Twitter then launched a spree of bans, which included controversial user Milo Yiannopoulos, who was said has been identified as the ringleader of a prolonged, hate-filled attack on actress Leslie Jones. This was after Jones tweet got a reply from Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter asking her to talk to him.
One of the tweets that was meant for Jones compared her to an ape, a user with the twitter handle YellowArmedImposter wrote, “Your Ghostbusters isn’t the first to have an ape in it,” which Jones shared with the comment: “I just don’t understand”.
In one of her tweets she wrote “I used to wonder why some celebs don’t have Twitter accts now I know,” And in another one she said “Twitter I understand you got free speech I get it. But there has to be some guidelines when you let spread like that.”
Apparently, other people have had similar issues, another celebrity, writer and actress Lena Dunham said in September, that she had to get someone to tweet on her behalf and the reason she gave was that, Twitter was no longer a “safe space” for her.
In a statement made by Twitter yesterday, it said an “uptick” had been seen on a number of accounts which had been going against its abuse and harassment policies for the past 48hours, and that noting it had enforced its policies either by issuing warnings or permanently suspending users.
We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter. We agree. We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as it’s happening and prevent repeat offenders.
Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website interface, SMS or mobile device app. Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco and has more than 25 offices around the world.
Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass and launched in July 2006. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with more than 100 million users posting 340 million tweets a day in 2012. The service also handled 1.6 billion search queries per day. In 2013, it was one of the ten most-visited websites and has been described as “the SMS of the Internet”. As of March 2016, Twitter has more than 310 million monthly active users.