Twitter Bans Revenge Porn and Doxxing 

By Kate Knibbs on at

Twitter has a well-documented troll problem. Even CEO Dick Costolo has admitted that the service is not great at weeding out abusive users. Well, Twitter is taking some solid proactive steps today: Doxxing is now explicitly banned, as is posting revenge porn.

People who get caught posting other people's identifying information, intimate videos, and photos without their consent will have their accounts locked until they delete the offending posts. And repeat offenders will get suspended from Twitter. For the revenge porn, Twitter will take stuff down without a formal request from authorities as long as the person complaining verifies that it's them in the photos or videos.

Ramping up its penalties for this sort of abusive behaviour is good, but unfortunately, these new rules are unlikely to stop persistent trolls. It will also be hard to enforce because there's no limit to how many Twitter accounts someone can make; if they get suspended on one, it'll take literally a minute to create a new one. And if Twitter tried to crack down further by doing something like limiting IP addresses, it could run into a whole new set of problems, since that would destroy the element of pseudonymity the site is known for (a feature treasured by political dissidents as well as trolls).

Other social web services are cracking down on revenge porn too: Reddit just changed its rules last month. It's great that these services are starting a more proactive campaign against bad actors, but it'll be a frustrating, whack-a-mole battle that'll require broader cultural changes to finally win.

[via Buzzfeed]

Illustration by Tara Jacoby