back to article Twitter rolls out troll controls

Rather than draining its swamp, Twitter aims to muffle the trolls that have taken up residence there. Openness is great, the company explained in a blog post, but people are taking advantage of it to insult others. "The amount of abuse, bullying, and harassment we've seen across the Internet has risen sharply over the past …

  1. Robert Moore

    Problem solved

    "The amount of abuse, bullying, and harassment we've seen across the Internet has risen sharply over the past few years,"

    Isn't that just about how long Donald Trump was campaigning for his new job?

    1. Craigness

      Re: Problem solved

      Well he did receive a lot of bullying and harassment.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Well he did receive a lot of bullying and harassment.

        Yeah, the media reporting on what he said and did. The bastards!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    First its "trolls" and "hateful" then its anybody who didn't vote the right way..

    Funny how dispot countries ban social media first to "stop decent and subversive"

    Can't also help notice that bought and paid for "news" outlets have rapidly dwindling viewers/readers, that couldn't possibly have anything to do with..

    1. Craigness

      Re: Sure..

      They already ban non-abusive accounts with the wrong politics, but you can call for the assassination of a (specific) political candidate and face no consequences. Women are specially protected by Twitter, with the exception of Anne Coulter and the like. Celebrities get special treatment, like when Leslie Jones targeted her followers at another user and said "get her". She didn't get banned, but the target of her abuse is no longer on the site.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Sure..

        Would that be the fake tweets by Milo Yiannopoulos pretending to be Leslie Jones, in a twitter campaign by him that went past mild trolling to full on abuse?

      2. Jeremy Puddleduck

        Re: Sure..


        I worry about you. You clearly have a lot of pent up resentment against women and you (hopefully, but unlikely) only have the internet to vent your spleen about their womanliness. Do you (reliably) post anti-women tosh on here because you think there are so few around and they won't call you out on your misogynistic nonsense? I'm as unsurprised as someone can be that you miss Milo and his pretty blue tick.

        The only special treatment women get on Twitter is sexist abuse and dick pics. How very dare these women be specially protected like that. How dare they breath and type and have views that differ to your own, and then complain when they get threats of rape by scissors or death that get ignored. Bloody self-centred harpies, wouldn't you agree?

        1. Rob 44

          Re: Sure..

          They get a lot more special treatment than you seem to be aware of.

          Has the originator or anyone using the #killallmen hashtag been banned yet? Nope of course they haven't.

          Watch what happens to you if you start a #killallwomen hash tag.

          1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

            Re: Sure..

            Rob 44, there's a well-known idea called 'oppression does not go upward'. White people excluding black people from meetings is oppression because, in our society, whites have more power than blacks. When black people exclude whites from their own meetings, it is not oppression. It is a denial of a bit of white power. But whites scream and yell, as the diminution of power is outrageous to them. Tey yell 'oppression' but it is not.

            Use any other two groups you want, as long as one is dominant and has all the power and the other is not and does not. Always the same. Oppression cannot go up the ladder; you can only stomp on someone's head in a downward direction.

            1. Rob 44

              Re: Sure..

              One question. What does oppression have to do with women getting special treatment?

              Are you trying to imply women in the western world (you know the most privileged group of women in history) are oppressed?

              What's next? Are you going to tell me women are never violent and black people are never racist?

              I stopped using twitter because of morons like you. Don't bring that crap here and ruin this site too.

              1. Jeremy Puddleduck

                Re: Sure..

                Well, there's always a silver lining and if you are no longer on social media we can all breathe a sign of relief.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    At last twitter becomes a safe space for the group-think, snowflake generation.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Hurrah!

      I was going to downvote you but it might be interpreted as a form of hate-speech and I don't want to upset anyone. (That wasn't me, honest.)

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hurrah!

        > I was going to downvote you but

        I agree with him/her/them but not sure if I should upvote, or downvote in celebration of negativity!?

    2. Diodelogic

      Re: Hurrah!

      ooFie and AC: Are you saying that if I want to use Twitter, I should be willing to tolerate bullying, harassment, etc.? As long as the choice of who I "listen to" remains mine, I don't quite understand what you are commenting-about.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hurrah!

      Good call anon. Millennials are a bunch of pussies who can't handle the bantz.

  4. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge


    Whatever I have to say on this topic, Randall Munroe sums it up nicely. As usual.

    However, in re: the "snowflake" posts above, try this on for size: not being able to communicate in a reasonable, thoughtful, considerate fashion and instead resorting to epithets of hate and abuse does not make you edgy or cool, it just indicates your dire lack of social training. Your parents should have done better. I would say that it's most likely that the best part of you ran down the inside of your mother's leg, but that's exactly the sort of thing that you would say, so I won't.

    1. Long John Brass Silver badge

      Re: Good

      @Throatwarbler Mangrove

      not being able to communicate in a reasonable, thoughtful, considerate fashion and instead resorting to epithets of hate and abuse

      Quite right! But holding differing views does not a hate speech make! And therein lays the problem, people tend to end up living in their own little filter bubbles / echo chambers

      As a result they scream blue bloody murder anytime they encounter an idea that runs counter their ideology. Its not always about people calling you a twat.

      you twat :)

      1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

        Re: Good

        "But holding differing views does not a hate speech make!"

        I agree completely, and there's a marked difference in tone between the posts on The Register's forums versus, say, the fetid cesspool of the average, unmoderated general news site. In general, Trump supporters in the wild come off as a bunch of semi-literate mouthbreathers; the ones who post here, while still prone to behaving like pricks, are at least compelled to maintain a veneer of civility and can usually mostly sometimes express themselves in a reasonably coherent fashion. Which is why I choose to participate in these forums and not, say, Twitter.

      2. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: Good

        FWIW, anecdotally speaking I've been pleasantly surprised to find I've been able to have extended exchange of views with people I have fundamental dsiagreements with - Trump / Brexit stuff -- wotj points / counter-points being put in a reasonably civilised manner, lately, on Twitter. Well, two or three times, anyway. It's good to remember that not everyone on the "other side" is either a libtard snowflake elitist or a mouth-breathing knuckle-dragging racist.

        (Personally I quite like being a snowflake, what with my six-way symmetry, crystalline structure and extremely unusual physical properties, but that's by-the-by.)

    2. Throatwobbler Mangrove

      Re: Good

      I notice that the person talking about "snowflakes" is an Anonymous Coward who's obviously too much of a snowflake to defend his own views

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are they really combating trolls or allowing businesses to remove tweets they don't want other customers or potential customers to see?

    Are they avoiding the costs involved with employing staff to manage twitter?

    Is twitter just another social media platform for people to shout look at me?

    Could they have avoided all confusion at the start by substituting the first vowel in it's name?

    If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one there to tweet about it, does it matter?

  6. Craigness


    >It was about this time that Pew Internet Research noted that 26 per cent of women between the ages of 18 and 24 have been stalked online, and 25 per cent have been the target of online sexual harassment.

    This would be the same research that found most abuse is suffered by men, right? And men fared worst in 4 of the 6 categories (you picked the other 2 for special mention).

    1. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: Whaddabout...

      Further to that, in my (thankfully) limited reading of twitter accounts and tweets therein, i find that it is the millenial females themselves who are dishing out the abuse.

      Somewhat amusing last week to see those who often tweet the mantra "haters are gonna hate" were the ones going overboard over Trump's emphatic victory.

    2. Originone

      Re: Whaddabout...

      You're referring to the stats all for men and women regardless of age, the original comment is clearly referencing the statistics for men and women aged 18-24 where its 3 each but for those categories where men (18-24) come out ahead the difference is so borderline as to be within the margin of error, however for those two categories 'picked...for special mention' in the article the predominance of women (18-24) as victims in those categories was dramatic. 4 times more likely to have been stalked and 2 times more likely to have been sexually harassed. You might think that mentioning the standout statistics is somehow manipulating the story, but it seems to me that its just mentioning the standout statistics.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Whaddabout...

        Numbers are hard. Claiming victimhood is much easier...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No, I'm saying first it sounds reasonable, then a few more 'reasonable' moves.. Then it isn't.

    This one article by one company may sound reasonable.

    But this isn't the first such 'reasonable move' article coming out of social media companies as late.

  8. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Fundamental problem

    Twitter has problem with its basic design. It tends to be oriented towards loud-mouthed, vain, narcissists who by definition at best only obnoxious. The more obnoxious the more trollish the behavior. It is not a platform designed for something resembling a coherent post, 140 characters pretty much limit one to snark. A longer post allows one to express more subtlety, facts, and, hopefully, logic about a topic.

    The problem with trying containing trolls is very basic. What is a troll? Outside of some very loutish people it is often in the eyes of the reader; particularly if the topic is controversial such as the recent US election. Too many define a troll as someone who disagrees with them or expresses an observation which may very accurate they wish to ignore.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    "We're enabling you to mute [notifications for] keywords, phrases, and even entire conversations"

    Mmmmm, how can we* abuse this fine new trolling feature? Poisoning the well, as it were. The Singularity is nigh! All twatterers will have their own heads stuck so far up their own twats that they collapse in upon themselves and vanish into the ether. And there will be much rejoicing!

    *Not me, I don't touch filthy social media, but I identify as an ally of all those who stand against twattery.

    On second that, I fear Twitter's demise would be the end of El Reg. Long live Twitter!

  10. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Here's another option

    Mute Twitter altogether. The signal-to-noise ratio sucks. The same can be said of Facebook. They have become Anti-Social Media.

    I have neither the time nor inclination to sift through mountains of crappy memes, f-ed up politics, Snopes-debunked alarmist posts, and (of course) ads for the occasional amusing nugget.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's another option

      I love how people post on here their ire at social media.

      Whatever, you don't have to join, but you do understand that having a handle and posting here is still a form of social media. Maybe it's the self righteous anti social media folks posting on social media about how they don't use social media who need to disappear up they're own arse?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here's another option

        A Mongolian woodcarving forum is not "social media".

      2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Here's another option

        "... but you do understand that having a handle and posting here is still a form of social media."

        Yes, thank you, I am perfectly aware of this.

        However, there is a range. Like with the printed press where you have actual newspapers at one end of the spectrum and rags like The Sun or The Daily at the other end.

        "... you don't have to join ..."

        Guess what? I am aware of this as well!

        I do pick and choose the "social media" I join, just as I try to choose the persons I interact with socially in real life (not always possible or feasible, but that's real life for you). Thing is, I do not use Twitter, Facebook or WhatsApp (to name just three), and yet they influence my daily life in various ways. And I do not like it.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Here's another option

          Forums are not social media, except in the loosest sense.

          Social media is for cultivating a public brand or persona.

          Forums are for pure unfettered discourse.

          El Reg, for one, is a little corner of the web where random strangers discuss/ridicule IT happenings in the news. It's not all-pervasive. It doesn't seek to dominate your communications. Nobody's smartphone goes d-d-ding every time someone replies to their drivel AFAIK. There are no user profiles to speak of. No bloody avatar photos. None of the grandstanding, self-promotion, and outright whoring that you see on proper social media, because it simply doesn't work here.

  11. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Sturgeon's law holds:

    90% of everything is crap.

    It's probably just that Twitter and the other social platforms make that 90% so visible.

  12. William 3 Bronze badge


    How come they did nothing about all the #RAPEMILENA hashtags and death threats against Trump?

    Ah, I forget, it's righteous anger and hatred when a left winger acts this way.

  13. whoosh

    I Trump In Your General Direction

    For a brief foolish second I thought I'd found it. An article on the internet that doesn't have the obligatory and tiresome Trump reference.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought that...

    26 per cent of women between the ages of 18 and 24 online were actually men?

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: I thought that...

      No, they're the girls between 11 and 15.

  15. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Free speech and trolls...

    Trolls have been around the internet for decades. Anyone ever pop into some of the spicer alt. groups on Usenet? Maybe even participate in a "Raid" by one group on another? Moments of hilarity often ensued. Difference there was the media was not really treating usenet as a news source in itself.

    Trolling IS a form of free speech. There are limits to free speech (slander and libel) even in 'murica but so long as avoid those "out of bounds" areas, trolls should be "weapons free".

    if your only response to a troll is to attempt to remove their voice because you cannot figure out how to ignore or fire back, my suggestion would be to get up from the computer, turn off the cell phone, and go outside for a while. There is still a real world out there.

    Y U Mad bro?


  16. Rob 44

    Only 26%

    Of women have been harassed on Twitter?

    I'd be willing to be 100% of men have.

  17. Anonymous C0ward
    Black Helicopters

    The Internet

    Where the men are men, the women are men, and the children are FBI agents.

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