Updated Jun 7, 2018

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

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

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 5,543,439 — Total deaths: 347,836 — Total recoveries — 2,266,394Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,669,040 — Total deaths: 98,426 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. Trump administration: Mike Pence's press secretary returns to work after beating coronavirus.
  4. States: New York reports lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March.
  5. Public health: The final data for remdesivir is in and its benefits are rather limited.
  6. Education: A closer look at how colleges can reopenNotre Dame president says science alone "cannot provide the answer" to reopening.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Fine testiying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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