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Twitter introduces updated harassment reporting tool

Company says it's "here for you"

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After being repeatedly called out for its slow response to abusive behavior, Twitter is giving its users another tool to report harassment.

Twitter announced today that those being targeted by abusers online could now submit multiple tweets as evidence of the harassment, instead of having to file harassment complaints on a tweet-by-tweet basis to prove the allegation. In theory, this would allow the support team to get a more thorough look at each specific case and respond faster.

In the announcement on its blog, Twitter said that enabling users to provide multiple tweets to gives greater context to their complaint and allows Twitter's security team to act more quickly and decisively.

Despite Twitter's promise to better the safety for users who are on the site, critics have called out the network for slow response times and, even worse, any intervention. There have been multiple, high-profile cases of different users (mainly women, people of color and those that identify as LGBTQ) receiving streams of death threats and having to wait days, if not longer, to hear back from Twitter about banning a specific user.

For example, back in February, the Globe and Mail's Shane Dingman wrote about Buzzfeed's Scaachi Koul being driven off of Twitter after being subjected to hundreds of abusive, vulgar messages and death threats in the span of about 48 hours. Koul, who had been targeted for years on Twitter for her tweets about racism, sexism and feminism, announced she was leaving after the security team did nothing to try and stop the abuse.

Dingman acknowledged that Twitter is a site "broken for women" and referred back to Twitter's own Vijaya Gadde calling out the network for not adequately responding to the growth in harassment it had seen since launching back in 2006.

In its blog post, the Twitter security team said the ability to send multiple tweets while reporting a user is just one safety improvement coming to the network. More initiatives will reportedly be announced soon.

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