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Twitter Tool Makes Easy to Report Threats. Really?

Twitter has launched its new tool for reporting the threats and harassment issues to the police on March 17, 2015. The tool will make it easier (sort of) for users to report threatening tweets to the police. The user will file a report against the respective tweet and then Twitter will send the whole report to the user via email. The email will have all the respective information like Twitter username, URL, time stamp along with the account information of the user also. Twitter has made some guidelines for law enforcement which further explain how the authorities can request and get the additional required information.







Twitter says with the help of above explained procedure it will, suspend the responsible account when appropriate and along with that it strongly recommends the user to contact the law enforcement. The email forwarded to the user will help them in making the whole procedure easy for them.

The whole process looks good at the very first glance but the question arises as, is it really going to help the user being harassed? All that a new tool has to do is take a screen shot of the complaint and send an email to the user, that’s it. It has nothing more to do, that’s all it offers. It will still be up to the user whether he/she wants to go to the police or not. Twitter’s Nu Wexler says “We can’t compel law enforcement to act on threats (the user will have to do that him/herself), but we can provide users with the information law enforcement will request from them”.

The information Twitter is providing is not something a user can find him/herself. All what it is doing is saving the time of users, of finding those information on their own. Secondly, if the user wants to take action and goes to the law enforcement, he/she will provide them the emailed information only. If the police and authorities want to have an additional information they have to go from the same legal channels as mentioned in the channels like, court orders and emergency disclosure request. They are not providing anything out of the box for its users. As mentioned in their assisting a Twitter user section of the guidelines, that most issues can be handled by the Twitter itself.

Twitter is under tough conditions now, if a user reports the harassment and Twitter suspends the abuser’s account. There will be no issue for the user to create another account and start the same thing again. As it is easy to sign up for twitter with fake and forged information, it’s not easy to provide the accurate information of the abuser accounts. Twitter will have to make more steps to assist the new tool effectively. They will have to make policies of maximum how many accounts can be made from single IP address, blocking abusive IP addresses and providing real name information for creating the account. However, Twitter do not wants to do all this, as it will reduce the value of the services.

If Twitter will continue taking such useless steps and not taking effective measures, its harassment and abusive problems will surely continue the same way they are right now.

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