Twitter updates its abuse policy and adds reporting tools to combat trolls

In the wake of the U.S. Election, as Facebook and Google come under fire for the dissemination of fake “news” in their News Feed and search results, Twitter is tackling another area that’s been a flashpoint issue not only recently, but for years: the social media platform today is unveiling some major updates to its safety policy, aimed at helping users weed out abusive Twitter accounts and Tweets, techcrunch reports.

Abusive or hateful content — defined by Twitter as “specific conduct that targets people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease” — can now be reported to Twitter for removal not just by the targets of that abuse, but by bystanders.

On top of this, users can now mute not just accounts, but specific keywords and phrases that would apply to anyone, as well as conversations you’re tagged in but don’t want to keep seeing (the Twitter “canoe” conundrum), so that none of these come up in your mentions. Twitter also said that it is retraining its support teams and overhauling its systems to deal with abuse reports more quickly and sensitively.
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