Can Twitter clamp down on online bullying?

Twitter has announced that it will be monitoring tweets that promote hate online.

The social media giant said that it would be refreshing its safety policies and building up the team responsible for enforcing it. It will also be investing in ways to sieve out and limit the reach of abusive content.

In an article on the Washington Post, Vijaya Gadde, general counsel at Twitter spoke up on online bullying and abusive speech on its platform. "Freedom of expression means little as our underlying philosophy if we continue to allow voices to be silenced because they are afraid to speak up. We need to do a better job of combating abuse without chilling or silencing speech," said Gadde. Gadde pointed out hateful speech directed as women or minority groups as examples of those looking to "silence healthy discourse in the name of free expression."

Gadde said that it has "invested heavily in tools and enforcement solutions that enable us to better detect, act on and limit the reach of abusive content." This includes tripling the size of the team whose job is to protect users, allowing Twitter to respond to five times the amount of user complaints and reducing the turnaround time of its response.

Last month the social media giant also altered its rules to ban “revenge porn” which is essentially the tweeting of intimate pictures or videos of people. It will also be clamping down on the use of anonymously created Twitter accounts used to silence people.

This comes at a time where Malaysian authorities also look to tighten regulations on social media to limit online abuse. A+M has reached out to The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to share a statement on how authorities are viewing Twitter's move. A+M has also reached out to Twitter on how the social media giant will be working with government bodies in Malaysia on the new initiative.

According to local media reports, that amendments are set for October this year or early next year and comes as the MCMC saw a 5% increase in Internet abuse from last year.