Twitter users now have an easier way to report abuse on the microblogging platform across all platforms. The company is also adding more staff members to help sort through flagged tweets following an outcry in the UK over rape and bomb threats sent to female journalists and a member of Parliament.
It all started when UK activist Caroline Criado-Perez successfully lobbied to have novelist Jane Austen featured on a UK banknote. That didn't sit well with a lot of people and over the next couple of days, she was barraged with treats of rape on Twitter.
One of her followers launched a Change.org petition shortly after asking the microblogging platform to make it easier to report abuse. Before the change, Twitter users were required to search the site to figure out how to report abusive messages.
The petition was an overwhelming success as it managed to garner more than 139,000 signatures. Twitter announced a revision to its rules earlier this month, promising to implement a "report abuse" button in the near future. Said button is now live which takes users to Twitter's help center to file a report.
Criado-Perez said it was great that Twitter listened but noted there were still issues. The problem is that users have to agree for the report to be potentially shared with the harasser and there are some boxes that could be auto-populated that aren't but otherwise, it's a fantastic first step, she said.