• Taylor Faircloth

Twitter's Cracking Down on Hate


With public backlash growing, Twitter wants to try and help prevent hate speeches or anything that’s overwhelmingly negative on their site. Twitter is taking steps such as making it easier to report alleged incidents on the social media services and educating moderators on what kind of conduct violates the rules.

Twitter users will have more control over what they post by having the ability to mute words and phrases, even entire conversations, if they don’t want to receive notifications about them. Assaults and other incidents have been reported in the news and on social media since Election Day, prompting president-elect Donald Trump to call for people to "stop it" during a 60 minute interview on Sunday night. The FBI reports that hate crimes rose 7% in 2015, led by attacks on Muslim Americans.

Under chief executive Jack Dorsey, Twitter has professed that "trust and safety" is among its top priorities. Yet little has changed; watchdog groups say Twitter has for years failed to provide effective ideas to stop this appall act for its 317 million users, causing hate speech to continue to spread.

"Hate speech is out of control on Twitter," said Heidi Beirich, spokeswoman for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Twitter users will now be able to report hateful conduct as a separate option. "Our hope is by having it as an explicit reporting option, it will make it easier for people to flag it to us and for us to take action on it as we can," Harvey, who has run safety on Twitter for eight years, stated.

Twitter has also retrained support teams, offering sessions that teach the cultural and historical context to help moderators recognize hate speech.

"Just to be clear: We are not saying by any means that as soon as this launches, the abuse issue will be solved on Twitter or that we are never going to get anything wrong again,' Harvey said. "This is sort of just another step for us on this path but we do think it's a really important one for people to have the ability to control the experience and shape it more."

source: usatoday.com