Twitter to combat trolling and hate speech

twitter troll Twitter to combat trolling and hate speech

Twitter is attempting to combat trolling and hate speech on its micro-blogging service, which could see a difficult balance between removing offensive material and maintaining freedom of speech.

Twitter is attempting to combat trolling and hate speech on its micro-blogging service, which could see a difficult balance between removing offensive material and maintaining freedom of speech.

 
Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, told the Financial Times that the company was planning to address the issue, which he said was in some cases “horrifying.”
 
Racial abuse appears to be on the increase on the service, which limits messages to 140 characters. Recent examples of high-profile cases include racist remarks by users against footballers Ashley Cole, Ashley Young, Stan Collymore, and Fabrice Muamba, all of which resulted in police investigations and, in some cases, arrests.
 
Measures to tackle the problem could include censoring responses from accounts that do not have followers, a profile picture, or a biography, making them more likely to be newly-created accounts designed specifically for the purpose of “trolling,” internet lingo for users who go out of their way to cause offence purely for the fun of it.
 
twitter trolling Twitter to combat trolling and hate speech
 
Of course, the problem with such measures is that genuine accounts that have failed to secure followers or update their profile may be caught up in this. That said, if Twitter is clear about its policy then more users will update their profiles to avoid the restrictions. Trolls may do likewise, however, simply uploading fake photos and biographies, and possibly even following themselves from multiple troll accounts.
 
However, Costolo does not want to Twitter to be too heavy-handed with its actions. He said the service will continue to allow pseudonyms, as that is the only way some people can speak freely in some parts of the world.
 
He expressed frustration at finding the perfect balance between the two extremes, recognising that “emboldening people to speak politically” can also embolden trolls and lead to further cases of hate speech.
 
The debacle is a problem for many on the internet, as it is a fine line between protecting people and crossing into the dangerous waters of online censorship.
 
Source: BBC