This week El Kaiser shares his ickiest Tech Term yet and J.D. tells us all about Twitter’s new “Troll Patrol”. In the news NASA’s Orion spacecraft completes a successful test flight; the first Coder In Chief; Facebook modifies its search function; Princeton University puts thousands of documents written by Albert Einstein online; Amazon rolls out 4K streams; the FCC wants wireless carriers to ste up efforts to protect consumer data; researchers discover Linux-based malware that’s been active for years; the fallout from cyber-attack on SONY’s networks continues; and the father of the videogame passes away.
Twitter has become a wonderful tool for news and communication, but as with other forms of participation in the online world, it can also attract trolls and other idiots who like to harass users. Like Facebook, Twitter has had basic controls available for awhile to block those who overstep the boundaries of civilized behavior or ignore its Official Rules, but the company announced last week that is was “enhancing our in-product harassment reporting.”
In a tweet, Twitter even posted a short demonstration video showing the new reporting tools on the mobile app. Basically, it just takes a couple of taps now to block a user, flag a post and file a report to the company. Even witnesses — but not direct victims — of the abuse, can report violations. Twitter says it has improved response times to these reports and is adding a new Blocked Accounts page to each user’s Twitter settings. People on the blocked list will not be able to view your Twitter profile page either.
The company is currently testing the new tools and plans to roll them out to all users over the next few weeks. Twitter also promises further improvements and what it calls new enforcement procedures for abusive accounts. While the determined abusers will probably still find a way to harass, Twitter’s troll crackdown may help with a lot of the less-determined pests.