BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Twitter decided to revamp its anti-troll block tool days after the shooting at the Orlando gay club. The tragedy spurred a wave of criticism on the platform with users spewing anti-gay and anti-Muslim sentiments all over the social network.
The suspect in the shooting said that he was acting on behalf of the Islamic State terror group. Yet, Twitter denied that it had updated its anti-troll tool because of a specific incident or event.
On Monday, the company said that it would make it ” easier” for users to block their disruptive peers. But the details of the update were unveiled today. Under the new update, blocked users can no longer stalk you or be able to contact you through their blocked account.
In fact, they won’t be able to see your new tweets as they don’t appear in their timeline anymore. They will also be barred from following you or sending you direct messages. You will also not be notified if the troll brings the word about you.
On the other hand, there are two ways you and the troll could be crossing paths on the microbloggin-site: when someone you follow writes about a blocked account and when you and the blocked user appear in the same message.
Prior to the changes, blocked trolls were still able to see what you tweeted about if the messages were used in other people’s tweets or retweets.
A spokesperson for the company noted that the site remains open to all voices. So, users with racist or anti-gay viewpoints won’t be barred from expressing their views on the site.
The spokesperson noted that it is better to wedge a cyber war on a particular issue on Twitter than going out on the streets. Donald Trump’s racist tweets and the overall negative feeling towards immigrants have spurred a tidal wave of racist comments on Twitter lately.
Yet, there remains only one problem with Twitter trolls. The site heavily relies on user reports to discipline trolls. So, users that mind their own business still get to read the mean messages before they mange to block the troll.
But the recent update is most welcome as it is since online cyber-bullying has reached unprecedented levels in recent years. About 40 percent of Internet users acknowledged that they were victims of cyber bullies also known as trolls in the past. Harassing people online has slowly morphed into a cultural phenomenon, experts say.
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