Brianna Wu, a local video game developer who has become the target of a GamerGate-related harassment campaign on Twitter and other sites, praised the new measures announced Tuesday by Twitter to enable easier reporting of abuse on the site.
“This seems like a big step up,” Wu said in an email to me Tuesday. “Reporting Tweets was very difficult – I’d have to paste tweets from the web client into their report. It looks like its built into the Twitter app in a much more streamlined way now.”
In particular, Wu, who heads the Arlington indie games shop Giant Spacekat, said she’s especially glad she’ll have access to her blocked users. Currently, “I have to use a third party tool when I block someone by mistake,” she said. “This seems like a big improvement.”
The changes aren’t effective immediately for all users, Twitter said. “The updates are available now for a small group of users,” the company said in a blog post. “In the coming weeks, we will roll them out to everyone.”
In July, Wu penned a widely read post about the harassment of women in the male-dominated game industry, and in October a series of death threats against her on Twitter forced her to leave her Arlington home. Wu at one point posted a screenshot on Twitter of a tweet from a user named “Death to Brianna,” who threatened to come to her house and stab her.
More details on the new changes (descriptions via Twitter):
- We’re improving the reporting process to make it much more mobile-friendly, require less initial information, and, overall, make it simpler to flag Tweets and accounts for review
- These enhancements similarly improve the reporting process for those who observe abuse but aren’t receiving it directly
- And to enable faster response times, we’ve made the first of several behind-the-scenes improvements to the tools and processes that help us review reported Tweets and accounts
- As for the changes to block, the new blocked accounts page — which you can get to from the settings menu on Twitter.com — shows you the accounts you’ve blocked. We’ll be adding more controls and features to this page in the coming months. Additionally, accounts that you’ve blocked won’t be able to view your profile
- In the coming months, you can expect to see additional user controls, further improvements to reporting and new enforcement procedures for abusive accounts