Twitter is making a big move to try and stop the problem of abuse and harassment that often takes place on the site, Ars Technica reports.
The company announced in a blog post published Thursday that it was launching a tool to allow people to report personal data that had been posted publicly on Twitter.
“Doxing” is where online harassers post things like someone’s phone number, address, or bank details publicly. It’s a serious problem because it can lead to real-world harassment, and continued abuse.
Doxing was a serious issue for a series of female writers and video game developers who were targeted by people aligned with the “GamerGate” movement. Twitter’s new reporting feature will aim to stop that happening by allowing users to flag up any tweets containing sensitive data that should be public.
Here’s the new part of Twitter’s report function. Now anyone can draw attention to people being doxed:
That wasn’t the only update that Twitter made, though. It has also tripled the size of its online abuse support staff, and introduced a new system where serial harassers are tracked using their phone number. That should help prevent the problem of online trolls repeatedly creating new accounts to get around bans.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has made it his “personal responsibility” to reduce the amount of abuse that Twitter users encounter. A leaked internal message showed that he was frustrated with Twitter’s current system of reporting abuse. Costolo said that “we suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years.”