Though Twitter is still a thriving social network, its effort to keep up with other thriving social networks may be lagging behind. On Tuesday, however, Twitter made many announcements about new additive features that will update the current system and keep up with the many different competitive networks. As a social media network that only allows so many characters in one post in an ever-changing social media network, it is only appropriate that Twitter keep up. As well, with so many complaints of users making harmful and threatening statements to other users, their new add-ons are fitting.
Twitter is one of the widest used social media networks. Alongside Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, and many more, Twitter certainly keeps up with the competition. Users post tweets on a variety of events, politicians use tweets to campaign, and even news sources use tweets to get news articles out. Overall Twitter is working well for the community, as far as social media is concerned. But in regards to the safety and satisfaction of Twitter users, trolling and bullying became a grave concern. At first, the social media network’s announcement of a new feature had critics rolling over.
Twitter first announced on Monday that they were introducing a new feature that would allow users to send direct messages to other users, without having to follow them or be followed by them, first. One source said that this was obviously a move by Twitter to keep up with the competitive networks like Facebook, who had messenger apps and even allowed users to message anyone. But this move also had critics stating that it was apparent that executives of the social network site did not care at all about those who felt like their were being cyber-bullied through tweets and messages.
As reports over the last couple of years show that many people were tagged or represented in a tweet regarding threats to them or their family, it was clear that Twitter needed to address this concern. Reports have shown people deleting their accounts and, in the worst case scenarios, leaving their homes due to fear. However, allowing for people to simply message anyone, did not seem to be the way to get the issue taken care of.
But shortly after Twitter executives stated that they were opening up instant messaging so that users on the site could message any other user, they then announced that they were going to stand up against trolling and bullying on their site. Though this issue has been two months in the making, according to sources, the company has finally announced how they plan to deal with trolling and cyber-bullying.
CEO Dick Costolo was slow to answer questions on how Twitter would handle trolling and bullying. Sources said that most users who had expressed their concerns to Costolo did not get a direct answer. They suggested that perhaps Costolo’s plan was still one in the making. But now Costolo has made it clear, according to a different source, on how he planned to deal with all of the issues that users do not like about Twitter.
The social media network is now supposedly going to have flags that automatically signal any tweets that seem violent or abusive. These tweets are said to be flagged based on several criteria, including age of content and triggers that match previous abuse patterns. Costolo said that the company would be “getting rid of trolls left and right.” Sources state that the attempt of Twitter officials to handle abuse and negativity and promote a positive impact for Twitter users, shows their willingness to expand, as users decide to re-create accounts that had been deleted due to abuse and negative remarks. If users can feel safer using an online social media platform, they are most likely to better enjoy their experience and not worry about making posts.
As Twitter works to make users feel better, their additions and updates are sure to better keep up with the competition, as their are many social networks out there to compete against. Twitter has never had a problem keeping up, but now with more satisfied users, they should not have a problem reducing the amount of complaints against them either. As far as trolling and cyber-bullying goes, the new rules, if effective, may make threatening and abusive comments on Twitter a thing of the past.
By Crystal Boulware