Twitter adds tool to report tweets to the police

The tool gives users an emailed summary report they can forward to law enforcement

The report summary includes the flagged tweet and the user name of who posted it, along with Twitter's law enforcement guidelines.

The report summary includes the flagged tweet and the user name of who posted it, along with Twitter's law enforcement guidelines.

Twitter has added a tool to help users report abusive content to law enforcement, which could aid in removing the most threatening posts as Twitter ramps up its efforts to combat harassment.

The tool has been incorporated into the existing process for flagging abusive content or tweets. After reporting abusive or threatening content to Twitter, users have an option to receive an emailed summary of the report. The report would include the flagged tweet and its URL, the time at which it was sent, and the user name and account URL of the person who posted it.

The report, aimed at law enforcement, would also include a link to Twitter's guidelines on how authorities can request non-public user account information from Twitter. The idea is that after seeing a report, law enforcement might feel compelled to take further action.

Twitter would not send this emailed report to law enforcement directly; it would be up to user to forward it. It comes as Twitter has more broadly beefed up its tools for reporting abusive content.

Twitter seems to envision the tool as a possible route to respond to the most threatening tweets. "While we take threats of violence seriously and will suspend responsible accounts when appropriate, we strongly recommend contacting your local law enforcement if you're concerned about your physical safety," Twitter said in a blog post on Tuesday.

In developing the tool, Twitter received feedback from a number of outside groups including the National Network to End Domestic Violence, which works to end violence against women. The new tool is not designed exclusively for women, but it could help in this area. Women have been ruthlessly targeted on Twitter and on other sites like Reddit and 4chan, due to sexism in the video game industry, sometimes referred to as "Gamergate."

Twitter has been working to improve its abuse-reporting tools, which all rely on users to flag content. The company recently streamlined its tools for reporting issues like impersonation and self-harm. Just last week Twitter banned the posting of revenge porn and nude images that have been stolen or are being used without permission, after a similar move by Reddit.

Twitter's new tool is rolling out worldwide starting Tuesday for the desktop as well as the company's mobile apps.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternettwittersocial networkingInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?