MICROBLOGGING WEBSITE Twitter has put together an anti-troll squad to help protect users from abuse and threats.
Twitter announced the launch of the team, which comprises 40 companies including safety advocates, academics and researchers, on Safer Internet Day in a bid to prove that it is stepping up its efforts to combat abuse on the social network, having previously been criticised for failing to provide adequate protection for its users.
Patricia Cartes, head of global policy outreach at Twitter, said in a blog post: "To ensure people can continue to express themselves freely and safely on Twitter, we must provide more tools and policies.
"With hundreds of millions of tweets sent per day, the volume of content on Twitter is massive, which makes it extraordinarily complex to strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power.
"It requires a multi-layered approach where each of our 320 million users has a part to play, as do the community of experts working for safety and free expression.
"That’s why we are announcing the formation of the Twitter Trust & Safety Council, a new and foundational part of our strategy to ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter."
Inaugural members of the online neighbourhood watch include mental health charity the Samaritans, the Safer Internet Centre, Feminist Frequency, Childnet and the Internet Watch Foundation, a specialist organisation that deals with criminal content including child abuse material.
Speaking to The Guardian, Nick Pickles, Twitter's head of UK policy, said: “Safety and freedom of speech go hand in hand.
"The unique thing about Twitter as a public platform is that what I have to say can be seen by anyone anywhere in the world, and it has the power to challenge views. Twitter’s sum is greater than its parts."
Twitter announced updated guidance in December on what it will and will not stand for on its micro-chatting pages. The firm made it clear that terror-type chat is not welcome, but said that it would work to preserve free speech on the social network. µ
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