31 Jul 2013
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Twitter reacts… releases Report Abuse button

Following a wave of hate-filled tweets, including rape and murders threats against a female activist, Twitter has finally taken action.

The social media giant plans to include a Report Abuse button within every tweet, as concerns grow over the brutality of threats on the site.

Twitter did say however that a button for reporting abuse is already available on iPhone apps, with the company looking to expand the function to Android and beyond.

"The ability to report individual Tweets for abuse is currently available on Twitter for iPhone, and we plan to bring this functionality to other platforms, including Android and the web," a spokesperson said.

"We don't comment on individual accounts. However, we have rules which people agree to abide by when they sign up to Twitter.

"We will suspend accounts that once reported to us, are found to be in breach of our rules. We encourage users to report an account for violation of the Twitter rules by using one of our report forms."

Twitter's move comes days after Mark S. Luckie, manager of Journalism and News on Twitter, locked down his account in response to a public outcry regarding Caroline Criado-Perez.

Campaigning to keep women on banknotes in the UK, Criado-Perez was targeted repeatedly with rape threats during a 12 hour period on the website, leading to an online petition for action.

Led by Kim Graham at change.org, the petition, which has so far reached 90,000 signatures, states:

"Abuse on Twitter is common; Sadly too common," it reads. "And it frequently goes ignored.

"We need Twitter to recognise that it's current reporting system is below required standards.

"It currently requires users to search for details on how to report someone for abuse; A feature that should be available on each user's page."

Claiming it is time took a "zero tolerance" policy on abuse, the petition asks the website to learn to tell the difference between abuse and defence.

"Women standing up to abuse should not fear having their accounts cancelled because Twitter fail to see the issue at hand," the petition reads.

"The report abuse button needs to be accompanied by Twitter reviewing the T&C on abusive behaviour to reflect an awareness of the complexity of violence against women, and the multiple oppressions women face.

"It's time Twitter started protecting its users."

Is it about time Twitter took responsibility for the abuse circulating online? Tell us your thoughts below

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