Updated Jun 7, 2018 - Technology

The big picture: Twitter is still facing heat for harassment on its platform

View of the headquarters of Twitter, Inc in San Francisco.

Twitter headquarers in San Francisco. Photo: Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images

Over a year ago, Twitter announced new features to curb harassment on its platform, such as hiding abusive replies to tweets, and offering a filter for inappropriate content, among a handful of others.

The big picture: Harassment on Twitter still hasn't stopped, despite the company's promises to combat the problem head-on.

What's happening

  • Huffington Post reporter Luke O'Brien received "threatening tweets, emails and phone calls" because of a story he wrote last week, according to the publication. After responding to a tweet from a critic, Twitter suspended him for "encouraging self harm," HuffPost reports. But "[m]any of the people who sent him threats have not been suspended."
  • The Daily Beast's Erin Biba reported that she received a wave of harassment on Twitter after confronting Tesla CEO Elon Musk about his comments on journalism and science, and that other women journalists have seen the same, including "death threats and rape threats."
  • Last year, at the start of the #MeToo movement, actress Rose McGowan was temporarily locked out of Twitter after tweeting about Harvey Weinstein's abuse and harassment, drawing outrage across the platform.
  • In 2016, actress Leslie Jones announced she was leaving Twitter after a barrage of racist and sexist messages for her role in the new "Ghostbusters" film.

What Twitter is doing about it

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in October that the company would be taking "a more aggressive stance...around: unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence."
  • As Axios' Ina Fried reported in October, Twitter had made six different assurances that it would crack down on abuse.
  • On its Help Center page for abuse, Twitter encourages users to report abusive behavior, after unfollowing the account in question, blocking it, or "addressing the issue offline" if possible.
"We're taking this issue seriously, as we do all reports of targeted abuse and harassment. We do not tolerate targeted abuse, violent threats, or hateful conduct on Twitter and will take swift action on anything that violates our terms of service."
— A Twitter spokesperson to Axios
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