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Tech News: Twitter Revises Policy to Tackle Abusive Online Behavior and Cyber Bullying

Twitter
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons / David Ferreira / CC)

Twitter has updated its policies regarding how it will handle abusive and offensive behavior of its users.

But aside from tackling cyber bullying, the social networking site also added guidelines on how it will deal with posts about self-harm and suicide.

In a recent blog post, Megan Cristina, the director of Twitter's Trust+Safety program, noted that the revised rules are meant to provide Twitter users a safe online environment.

Over the years, Twitter and other similar services such as Facebook have become one of the main avenues for cyber bullying and other hateful messages. In response, these sites implemented certain actions to prevent users from posting offensive content on their accounts.

One of the actions taken by Twitter is blocking users who violate its rules. For the updated rules, the company said it expanded its classification of offensive behavior on the site.

"Today, as part of our continued efforts to combat abuse, we're updating the Twitter Rules to clarify what we consider to be abusive behavior and hateful conduct," Cristina wrote. "The updated language emphasizes that Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user's voice."

"As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs - but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse," she added.

According to Twitter's Rules page, abusive behavior includes posting violent threats, promoting violence against other people or groups based on their ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion or gender, creating multiple accounts to avoid suspension, divulging other people's private information without their consent and urging other users to harass another individual.

Aside from hateful posts targeting other users, Twitter also noted that it will tackle online activities that are about self-harm and suicide. According to the site, users may report posts or tweets from their contacts which are about committing suicide or considering self-harm.

Once Twitter receives a report, it will reach out to the troubled user or send their information to a mental health facility.

 According to USA Today, Twitter decided to review its rules last year after the daughter of the late comedian Robin Williams deactivated her account. As reported by the news site, the woman decided to leave the social networking site after she received abusive and hateful messages following her father's death.

Tags twitter, Cyber Bullying, Twitter Rules, Social Networking Sites, Technology, Suicide, Self-Harm

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