Today, Twitter has announced a Trust and Safety Council, in order to deal with bullying and harassment on its platform. The purpose of the council will be to advise Twitter as the company develops new policies and products. The council will be composed of over 40 organizations from around the world at the start, and possibly more organizations will be added later. In Twitter’s own words, the council includes:
- Safety advocates, academics, and researchers focused on minors, media literacy, digital citizenship, and efforts around greater compassion and empathy on the Internet;
- Grassroots advocacy organizations that rely on Twitter to build movements and momentum;
- Community groups with an acute need to prevent abuse, harassment, and bullying, as well as mental health and suicide prevention.
The organizations are from around the world, including North and South America, Europe and Asia. The list of organizations includes some big names many will already be familiar with such as The Anti-Defamation League. There are also various anti-bullying and anti-domestic violence groups on the council. Perhaps of most interest to readers of this site is the inclusion of Feminist Frequency. Feminist Frequency produces short videos criticizing video games, often accused of containing some factually incorrect information about the games being discussed. It’s unclear how critiquing video games qualifies the organization to advise Twitter on combating harassment.
Twitter argues that this council is necessary, “To ensure people can continue to express themselves freely and safely on Twitter.” The post also mentions that the high volume of tweets, which number in the millions each day, makes it very difficult to deal with harassment on the platform, and new policies must be developed to deal with it. The announcement also states that in addition to the council of experts, ordinary users have their own part to play in making the platform safer, although the post does not elaborate on what that role is.
Is Twitter’s trust and safety council going to make the platform better? Leave your comments below.