Twitter vows to combat abusive users

by jovan1984

In lieu of allowing direct messages to everyone, Twitter changes policy on abuse

Today's News Briefs

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter vows to take abuse and harassment on its site seriously.

Today, Twitter announced two big changes: 1) everyone would be able to direct message other users, regardless of whether the users are following each other or not, and 2) it’s violent threats policy now includes “threats of violence against others or promot[ing] violence against others” in addition to “direct, specific threats of violence against others”:

Our previous policy was unduly narrow and limited our ability to act on certain kinds of threatening behavior. The updated language better describes the range of prohibited content and our intention to act when users step over the line into abuse.

Twitter’s support team now has the option to lock out or ban accounts that generate abusive comments for specific periods of time, which they feel will help if many users start posting derogatory comments on one person, business or group. The offending users will be contacted by the company to delete the offending tweets before their account can be reactivated.

Finally, Twitter is testing out a new feature that will allow them to spot abusive posts even without the aid of users and tickets:

This feature takes into account a wide range of signals and context that frequently correlates with abuse including the age of the account itself, and the similarity of a Tweet to other content that our safety team has in the past independently determined to be abusive. It will not affect your ability to see content that you’ve explicitly sought out, such as Tweets from accounts you follow, but instead is designed to help us limit the potential harm of abusive content. This feature does not take into account whether the content posted or followed by a user is controversial or unpopular.

As you may remember, Laura Bates of Everyday Sexism, Anita Sarkeesian and other women have been victims of violent threats posted by abusive users in the past.

Windows Central

Another man jailed for murders of two women

MONCKS CORNER — A man will spend the next quarter-century in prison after pleading guilty to helping to murder two women in 2012.

Arthur Ray Chavis, 26, of Cordesville, pleaded guilty today to lesser counts including voluntary manslaughter, armed robbery and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He was originally charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of two women, ages 18 and 22.

The women’s lifeless bodies were found in the Francis Marion National Forest near Saint Stephens.

Caleb Brad Matlock of Summerville, who prosecutors say was the triggerman, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and was sentenced to 55 years in prison over 12 months ago.

Man attacks girlfriend after argument over Facebook, Xbox One

THOMASVILLE, Ga. — A 19-year-old man was arrested after he attacked his girlfriend.

Thomas County Sheriff’s Office officers responded to a domestic dispute.

The suspect was playing the Xbox One when he and his girlfriend argued over a photo he posted on Facebook on Internet Explorer on the Xbox One. The victim said he hit her in the stomach, choked her, and threw her to the ground.

Captain Steve Jones with the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office said, “He didn’t admit to choking her, but he did admit to slapping her, hitting her in the face. He admitted that he hit her with an open hand. And she had the marks to substantiate that, as well as the red marks around her neck from fingerprints.”

Jacob Dellamaggiore, 19, was arrested and charged with criminal domestic violence. He was put on hold for a probation violation after a background check revealed he has a felony record after he pleaded guilty to sexual battery on a child.

WALB News 10

Union (N.C.) County trooper arrested for assault

MONROE, N.C. — A North Carolina State Trooper is facing the charge of assault.

According to officers at the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Trooper Bryan T. Kirkpatrick hit a woman during an argument.

He was arrested for assault and placed on administrative duty by NCHP pending an internal investigation and a criminal investigation that’s being conducted.

WCNC NBC Charlotte