Anti-bullying tools and resources on Twitter

Thursday, 20 March 2014

At Twitter, we strive to ensure you and every user can enjoy a vast array of content on our platform in a safe and secure way. Australia’s National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence is an opportunity to spread the message that bullying and violence, whether at school or online, is not okay — and to offer resources to parents, teachers and students to deal with bullying effectively.

Today, there are over 500 million Tweets sent every day on Twitter. This immense volume of content contains a diversity of conversations and experiences that reflect our society. The vast majority of these Tweets are positive and respectful. However, as in the offline world, there will always be a few people who take advantage of an open platform to send messages that are abusive or may threaten others.

As a platform for real-time, public conversations, we firmly believe our users in Australia and around the world should have a safe and enjoyable experience on Twitter. In order for users to fully enjoy their Twitter experience, here are some useful reminders and practical tips on what they can do when they see unwanted or abusive content:

The Twitter Rules
First, our priority is that you should be able to express yourself within acceptable limits, and the Twitter Rules provide guidelines about permitted use of the service. Those rules make clear that abusive behaviour is not allowed. We take action when content is reported to us that breaks our rules. Once the content is reported to us, we will investigate it. If there is a violation of our rules, the account will be suspended or terminated.

Block or unfollow an account
Second, we put you in control of what you see on Twitter with tools that let you block accounts from following you, and unfollow accounts you don’t want to see. To block an account, just click on the “…” link in each individual Tweet, select “Report Tweet”, and choose “Block”. To unfollow an account, just click on “Following” on your homepage, then click the “Following” button next to any user on your Following list and it will change to a red “Unfollow”.

Report abusive behaviour
Third, we do provide you and every user with tools to easily report abusive content on our platform. Whether you are on your mobile device, tablet or PC, you can click on the “…” link in each individual Tweet, select “Report Tweet”, and choose “Abusive”. Alternatively, you can go to our Help Centre and fill out this online form to report abusive behaviour.

Our Trust & Safety team
Fourth, our Trust & Safety team is available 24 hours a day, and we have built this team to provide fast response times around the world. In order for them to review the issue you’re reporting, you’ll need to use either our in-Tweet reporting feature or the forms in our Help Center. You won’t get the information effectively routed to the right people for addressing the issue you’re reporting if you send it directly to an individual employee’s email address or send Tweets to @TwitterAU. That is not the correct way to flag potentially abusive content for our review.

Local law enforcement
Finally, we have also done briefings with local law enforcement authorities on how to handle local reports of abuse on our platform and how to work with us for investigating crimes. Our support pages list guidelines for law enforcement personnel seeking to request information about Twitter users, found here. Whether in the real world or on Twitter, if you are facing abuse or threats of violence, you should report to the local authorities immediately.

We continue to evaluate additional ways to provide support for our users in Australia. We are constantly talking with our users, advocacy groups, and government officials to see how we can improve Twitter, and will continue to do so. Such feedback has always played an important role in the development of our platform for content discovery, human connection, and self-expression. For regular updates on our safety initiatives, check our @safety account.