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Twitter UK boss promises anti-abuse action after troll's bomb threats

05 Aug 2013
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Twitter's UK general manager Tony Wang has promised to implement new anti-troll features following a series of bomb threats against several UK journalists.

Wang unveiled Twitter's plans to implement several new measures alongside an apology to the affected journalists in a tweet over the weekend.

The apology follows a wave of bomb threats targeting a number of prominent female journalists. Known victims include The Guardian's Hadley Freeman, The Independent's Grace Dent and Time's Catherine Mayer. Twitter said the messages proved the need for change in a public blog post.

"It comes down to this: people deserve to feel safe on Twitter. Over the past week, we've been listening to your feedback on how we can improve our service. You told us that we need to make our rules clearer, simplify our abuse reporting process, and promote the responsible use of Twitter. Today, we want to give an update on what we've done and what we're committing to do over the next few months," read the statement.

The new services include the addition of a button to report abuse. The button has already been added to Twitter's iOS app and is set to be rolled out to Android and the central Twitter.com site "soon".

Other key additions include a new partnership with the UK Safer Internet Centre and amendments to Twitter's definition of abusive behaviour. Twitter also promised to implement a number of other undisclosed anti-abuse measures in the near future.

"We are committed to making Twitter a safe place for our users. We are adding additional staff to the teams that handle abuse reports and are exploring new ways of using technology to improve everyone's experience on Twitter. We're here, and we're listening to you," added the statement.

Twitter abuse has been an ongoing issue for several years. The service's anonymity has allowed numerous groups and individuals to mount ongoing hate campaigns and has already led to several police investigations.

Earlier in July feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez was hit with a prolonged 12-hour barrage of rape threats via Twitter. The police subsequently confirmed the arrest of an unnamed 21-year-old man in the Manchester area on suspicion of harassment offences.

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Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

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