back to article Oi, trolls, BEHAVE! Twitter tweaks rules to tackle abusive twits

Twitter's UK operation has been forced to apologise to a number of high-profile women who were targeted with abuse by users of the micro-blogging site. The company has said it will hire more staff to help block people who are breaching Twitter's rules by using the service to harass others. It also reiterated that netizens …

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  1. Haku
    Trollface

    Report button on iPhone before Andoid & web interface?

    I think I know why judging by the number of downvotes I and others receive on commenting here about Apple and their users - they're all very insecure! :P

  2. ChrisM

    its simple

    Don't write or message anything that you wouldn't be happy to say out loud in a bar....

    As for the rape/bomb threats... That stuff is already illegal and rightly so...

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Craigness

      Re: Yes, but

      Some will see the "abuse" button as a noun not a verb.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One Direction and Black Ops Fans are as bad

    GQ magazine did a feature with One Direction this month and the fans went a little mental after seeing the covers, which were originally tweeted out by the group members...

    http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/entertainment/articles/2013-07/30/one-direction-gq-covers-most-terrifying-responses

    And, after an update was pushed out to Black Ops II last week

    http://gamerfury.tumblr.com/

    Neither have comments in suitable for reading at work to be honest and both articles drain the life out of me and make me fear for the future of mankind.

    1. ChrisM

      Re: One Direction and Black Ops Fans are as bad

      Holy shit.... All of these are, if we use the same criteria, worthy of a visit by plod.

      So why haven't they?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One Direction and Black Ops Fans are as bad

        Whoa

        They need to deal with those guys before they reach puberty.

      2. Darren Barratt
        Angel

        Re: One Direction and Black Ops Fans are as bad

        1D fans are too young to arrest. Black Ops fans would all die in jail trying to pretend to be SAS.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Maharg
      Flame

      Re: One Direction and Black Ops Fans are as bad

      Having a look at those tweets from One Direction fans, GQ should really turn round involve the Police, use the same laws that apply to the people insulting the female MPs, just because your target is the male editors of a men’s magazine it doesn’t mean you are able to threaten people like that, it should be one rule for all, either police it or don’t, no exceptions.

      Take their internet away, seriously, don’t lock them up and waste any tax payers money, just ban them from having a twitter account, any repeat offenders are not allowed to use the internet for a year.

      If you can’t be trusted to drive a car while not drunk you are not allowed to drive, if you can’t be trusted to use the internet without placing a bomb threat then you are not allowed to ‘surf’.

      I don’t care if they are spoilt little 14 year old girls, they need to know this behaviour is not tolerated, otherwise they will continue doing it until one day they send this kind of message to someone society for some reason deems to weak and not thick skinned enough to take it and who we must protect from all those nasty internet people (ie a women, airport, or a slightly overweight fashion blogger) and end up in jail.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One Direction and Black Ops Fans are as bad

        The point is that these keyboard warriors are not making credible threats about one direction, black ops or women and they should just be ignored rather than wasting resources that could be spent on catching real criminals.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: One Direction and Black Ops Fans are as bad

          what exactly is a credible threat? saying that you will meet the Black Ops developer at the next gaming event and kill him would seem to be quite credible, i.e not needing to know the targets home address, but knowing what he looks like and that he will be there with large crowds to hide amongst/get away in.

          Threatening to blow up the GQ offices? or stab everything within? At which point does a threat become credible?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: One Direction and Black Ops Fans are as bad

            It is credible when someone with more than half a brain thinks that there is the slightest possibility of them carrying it out. Which currently there isn't.

          2. Dave Bell

            Re: One Direction and Black Ops Fans are as bad

            I have seen one today threatening a firebomb attack at a particular time.

            One of the local mosques was firebombed several times last May, so I would call that a credible threat. Though my grandfather, who was in the Home Guard, once told me that petrol bombs were as likely to set the user on fire.

      2. Craigness

        Re: One Direction and Black Ops Fans are as bad

        Men have always been disposable. Note that Twitter's apology specifically EXCLUDED male victims. #sexism

  5. Colin Millar

    Twitter: "We don't tolerate abuse..."

    Er - yes - you do - if the events of the last week show anything at all it is that you definitely tolerate abuse. And you run away from it when people try to report it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I await your downvotes ...

    but the recent Twitter media storm, and previous Facebook stories do seem to support a point of view that the internet was fine, until the proles started using it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I await your downvotes ...

      There's always been idiots/nutters online, but now that TwitterBook is fashionable, the percentage has shot up

    2. breakfast

      Re: I await your downvotes ...

      I think it mostly comes down to the GIFT to be honest, specifically the increased audience that these platforms offer to the determined imbecile.

    3. Amorous Cowherder
      Happy

      Re: I await your downvotes ...

      Not really always nutters in every walk of life it's just that yonks ago it took a little bit of nous if you wanted to get online and give someone some grief, now the tools are almost instantly available for any platform you wish to use basically for these "tools" to make complete...well tools of themselves!

    4. Darren Barratt
      Happy

      Re: I await your downvotes ...

      We need the old internet back. How about only filtering at DNS level so you need to be bright enough to understand IP addresses to get through.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twitter Silence

    It's ironic that one of the protagonists in this spat has regularly used extreme discriminatory language in her tweets in the past. As usual with Twitter "celebrities" it's a case of "Do what I say, not what I do".

  8. breakfast

    I think the optimal solution to this in the majority of cases would be a button that reported a user's twitter history to their mum.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      By jove I think he's got it!

      or:

      http://xkcd.com/481/

  9. Thomas 4

    Hooray!

    With those mighty and powerful changes to a few lines of text, those trolls will be utterly terrified now and shall run away back to /b/.

    Or perhaps not.

    1. andreas koch
      Childcatcher

      @ Thomas 4 - Re: Hooray!

      I haven't tried for quite a long time, but surely /b/ is blocked in all civilised countries by now?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Thomas 4 - Hooray!

        Why? I usually need a good laugh on Fridays.

  10. Jediben

    These women are asking for it

    ... by failing to comprehend that this is not a problem exclusive to women. This morning in a BBC interview, Mary Beard suggested that it was in someway a sexist, misogynistic issue and that Twitter should be taking steps to protect feminists.

    This is bullshit.

    Twitter should be taking steps to protect everyone. Everyone is exposed to commetns like this. Men as well as women. But thanks to the feminist lobbyists in the media, no one gives a monkey's about the abuse thrown at software developers as seen above.

    While women like this focus solely on themselves as victims instead of PEOPLE as victims, then abuse will continue to target them. Learn your mistake and maybe the abuse will stop.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: These women are asking for it

      1813 Women have no rights.

      1913 Women fight for some rights.

      2013 Women are always fucking right.

      .

      /shamelessly stolen off the internet

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: These women are asking for it

      True. It gets me angry when I hear about all the campaigns which are zero tolerance on abuse against women.

      Sometimes it is the husband in the relationship that is on the receiving end of abuse, both mental and physical.

      And not forgetting the gay relationships too.

      They need to drop gender out of their campaigns.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't we just get rid?

    Why not just get rid of Twitter?

    It serves no real purpose and its getting to the point where each and every day theres some issue or another with it. Its not the service itself, its the stupid people who use it but then again a gun isn't dangerous until you put it in a killers hand but we don't let everyone use guns do we?

    A service which basically lets the anyone anonymously shout their opinions to the world is ALWAYS going to be flawed. They'll never fix it.

    1. Haku

      Re: Can't we just get rid?

      The problem with removing a service that allows numpties to post unregulated nonsense online is that they would find new places to post their drivel.

      I kinda think it helps to have one major site to contain all the drivel, makes it easier to avoid.

      1. dogged

        Re: Can't we just get rid?

        The problem with removing a service that allows numpties to post unregulated nonsense online is that they would find new places to post their drivel.

        Yes, but nobody reads the BBC's "Have Your Say" pages.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't we just get rid?

      twitter does have its uses

      twitter.com/BadlyParked

  12. Craigness

    Filter

    Why doesn't the government require the ISPs to filter out all the abuse and rid us of this terror for good?

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Filter

      Why doesn't the government require the ISPs to filter out all the abuse and rid us of this terror for good?

      And who will decide what's abuse and should be censored ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        Re: Filter

        I'll do it.

  13. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    No simple solution

    There is no simple solution to this Twitter problem. I heard on the radio that some women have been subjected to abuse on Twitter for years. They shouldn't have to suffer this for a single day, let alone years.

    So it's clear something should be done. But what ?

    If they start to censor tweets, who's going to decide what should be censored ? Should a government be involved ? If Twitter get more involved in the censoring of messages, they also start to loose their carrier protection and risk themselves being sued.

    What about requiring stricter sign-up procedures? Again, certain governments would love to have a better idea who is behind tweets. Plus it won't stop the determined abusers.

    There's a line between freedom of speech and preventing abusive & offensive tweets. I have no idea how to square this circle. All I do know, is that it will be (ab)used by politicians, the victims will be left with empty, useless, promises, and innocent users will probably suffer too.

    1. Old Handle

      Re: No simple solution

      Oh yes there is. Don't read twitter if you can't handle seeing some rude text.

    2. Vic

      Re: No simple solution

      > I heard on the radio that some women have been subjected to abuse on Twitter for years

      Then they're idiots.

      Twitter is not a mandatory part of life. If it's unpleasant - go somewhere else.

      Either that, or the "abuse" isn't quite as desparate as some would have you think...

      Vic.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Live by the twit...

    Sorry, it must be late or something but I find it hard to muster up any sympathy for people who want to derive their personal worth from the mindless echo chamber that calls itself twitter.

    1. dogged

      Re: Live by the twit...

      "Live by the twit" is accurate, if only because the feminist in question campaigned to get Jane Austen on a banknote via Twitter. She apparently said there weren't any women on banknotes, somehow having never seen the front face of a Bank of England note since 1953.

      The abuse is bad, really bad but the medium is her medium. She used it. Now she is being abused by it. There's a slightly poetic irony in that which is ugly but still of more worth than anything ever written by Jane "Mr D'arcy will make it all better" Austen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Live by the twit...

        Oh where to start with your daft like-informed post.

        The Bank of England selected Austen, the "twit" you mentioned was campaigning to keep a representative of more than 50% of the population on a piece of paper that we all see in our pockets. A long list of deserving women were suggested and the Bank chose Austen for some reason.

        The Queen is on our banknotes! Wow, you know no-one realised that, all that campaigning for nothing. If you'd bothered to read even one article on this you'll know the Queen is on our notes because of her role as monarch, give it a few years and it will be a man. The campaign was about getting a woman back on a bank note because of her achievements not because of her inherited position.

        And the abuse isn't just your average abuse. It's criminal, literally, and.you think that's acceptable because she dares to send her own tweets so deserves rape and bomb threats. Well, shame you feel threatened because a woman feels other women should be visible in society and you condone tweets like this....

        @youredead3: FIRST WE WILL MUTILATE YOUR GENITALS WITH SCISSORS THEN SET YOUR HOUSE ON FIRE WHILE YOU BEG TO DIE WHORE"..

        1. dogged

          Re: Live by the twit...

          Tetchy, aren't we?

          Point out where I condoned anything, little miss sunshine.

        2. Vic

          Re: Live by the twit...

          > It's criminal, literally

          So we deal with it in the same manner as other crimes.

          Why is this exceptional?

          Vic.

  15. Simulacra75

    Twatter

    IMHO, if you're going to have an online presence like Twitter or a blog then accept that you'll get flamed from gobshites. If you don't go ex-directory in the phonebook you will get plagued from insurance/broadband/$whatever. Get over it or just delete the feckin account.

  16. Ishtiaq

    Had anyone ever heard of these "wimmin" before this abusive tweet thing?

    And could someone tell these feminists that equality with men means putting up with the same shit that we have to put up with?

    Maybe it would be better if Twitter just banned everyone who pushes the abuse button???

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bloody hell, which stone did you creep out from under? "Wimmin"? Can't bring yourself to actually type women, which is what they are - are they too much woman for you?

      The profile of the women doesn't really matter but it has helped get media attention for the nature of abuse and threats received by all people, but women in particular online. You know, despite your obviously winning personality, I doubt you have been deluged with bomb threats, genital mutilation, rape and death threats for the last 10 days. Nor will you have been subjected to the same day to day abuse aimed at women for daring to express an opinion.

      If you haven't heard of any of the women in the news then it says more about your ignorance than their profile.

      1. Ishtiaq

        Oh dearie dearie me.

        Can't you bring yourself to use your name?

        Tells me more about you than the tripe you have written.

        Oh well...

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