Twitter is making changes to combat instances of online abuse. Twitter claims to have noticed a sharp rise in the instances of abuse, bullying and harassment. The constant trolling prevents people from being exposed to all perspectives of an issue, reduces engagement with the social media platform, and is a threat to human dignity.
Earlier this year, The Cincinnati Zoo deleted its Twitter account after facing continuous abuse. The account was flooded with memes and petitions, following the killing of a gorilla, Harambe, to save a three year old boy who had crawled into the enclosure.
The Freedom on the Net 2016 report studied instances of online abuse in India, and found that most of the harassment was targeted against women. The affected women would not respond to the harassment at all, or react by reducing their participation on social media platforms. Users did not know of the law enforcement mechanisms to protect them from abuse, and were not aware of the mechanisms provided by the site to combat such abuse.
Twitter is taking some concrete steps to combat the harassment. The mute button, which so far prevented users from seeing Tweets by muted accounts in their timelines has been expanded considerably. Users will now be able to mute notifications as well, including notifications from individual accounts, keywords, phrases and conversations. This was a much demanded feature from Twitter.
Twitter is also apparently rolling out a more comprehensive system for reporting Tweets that attacks anyone over the basis of race, religion, gender, age, nationality or ethnicity. Twitter did not provide details on how the new system would be implemented.
The support teams have been retrained with new policies. The support teams have recieved special lectures on cultural and historical  contexts for hateful abuse. There is an ongoing refresher program for employees. There are new tools and mechanisms to better deal with reported offenders.
Twitter mentions in the blog post that this is just a few of the many steps, and that it will continue to learn from and adapt to new situations, to continuously improve the way it tackles online abuse.