Twitter Makes Reporting Threats to Police a Little Easier

Josh WolfordSocial Media

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It's not a giant new feature or anything, but Twitter has taken yet another in a long line of recent steps to deal with abuse and harassment on the site.

Starting now, if you report a threatening tweet, Twitter will give you the option to email yourself a copy of said report. The packaging of the report will contain the tweet's content, links to the tweet and users involved, timestamps, and other information that could help law enforcement officers investigate the threat – if that's the direction you chose to go.

And Twitter actually suggests that you go to the police if you feel genuinely threatened by another user on its service.

"While we take threats of violence seriously and will suspend responsible accounts when appropriate, we strongly recommend contacting your local law enforcement if you’re concerned about your physical safety. We hope that providing you with a summary of your report will make that process easier for you," says Twitter's Ethan Avey.

Here's what the report will look like:

So you can just pass that on to the police, should they need it.

Last week, Twitter specifically banned revenge porn and any other content posted without a user's consent. Before that, Twitter tripled the amount of people on the team handling abuse reports, in an attempt to be able to handle them all in a timely manner. It also streamlined the reporting of impersonation, self-harm and the sharing of private and confidential information – just like it did with harassment and abuse.

Twitter has taken these recent strides in user safety after some high profile instances of abuse and harassment on the site. CEO Dick Costolo made a promise to make the service safer, and today's step is just one of many that Twitter has and will surely continue to take. Scared, frustrated users aren't good for Twitter's brand or business.

Once again, this isn't some giant move from Twitter to battle harassment, and it's easy to see why some would call it a useless punt. Twitter's not beefing up its relationship with law enforcement when it comes to threatening content, it's just making it a little bit easier for you to have your ducks in a row if and when you decide to go to the police yourself.

Image via Rosaura Ochoa, Flickr Creative Commons

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf