Twitter’s anti-troll methods are working

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Twitter's European head has revealed the social network's anti-troll methods are working, with fewer reports of bad behaviour since it cracked down on those abusing other users.

Back in April, the social network announced it would be introducing new methods of reporting so-called trolls and phone verification.

Europe chief Bruce Daisley said the ability for users to identify themselves by entering a code sent to their phone means Twitter can cross-check their username against accounts that have been suspended for bad behaviour and this had helped reduce reports of online abuse. It also means Twitter is able to tell users what they are doing exists in the real world, not just an online world, he said.

Additionally, Twitter has provided users with the tools to report trolls and asked social networkers to share their block lists so they can identify patterns with troll suspects.

"The measures we've taken correlate directly with a reduction in the amount of of bad behaviour," Daisley told The Independent.

Twitter's troll crackdown was put into action when a number of high-profile celebrities closed their accounts down following reports of trolling.

Those affected by bad behaviour included Robin Williams' daughter and Sarah Payne's mother, who were both subjected to abuse from Twitter users after the death of their loved ones.

TV presenter Sue Perkins was also forced to remove herself from the social network after being trolled by Top Gear fans after it was suggested she would be one of the new presenters.

When Twitter introduced the new troll reporting measures, the company's Shreyas Doshi said: "While dedicating more resources toward better responding to abuse reports is necessary and even critical, an equally important priority for us is identifying and limiting the incentives that enable and even encourage some users to engage in abuse.

"We'll be monitoring how these changes discourage abuse and how they help ensure the overall health of a platform that encourages everyone's participation."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.