Twitter Update Will Stop Blocked Users from Seeing Your Profile

Dec 02, 2014 01:25 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

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Twitter is finally taking measures to protect its users from abuse such as harassment and impersonation, issues that have been plaguing the microblogging site.

The company has announced new tools that will make for a "safer Twitter," including an update to the block feature that will stop blocked accounts from viewing your profile. Available to an initial select pool of users, the updated block system should be in place for all users soon.

"In the coming months, you can expect to see additional user controls, further improvements to reporting and new enforcement procedures for abusive accounts," wrote Shreyas Doshi, Twitter's director of product management and user safety. "We'll continue to work hard on these changes in order to improve the experience of people who encounter abuse on Twitter."

Twitter has long been conflicted between its desire to promote unencumbered discourse and its need to protect users, who are generally free in the sea of Twitter accounts to exercise their right to free speech to the nth degree.

Reporting abusive accounts wasn't even an option until July of 2013, shortly before Twitter went public, according to the New York Times' Bits blog.

The current reporting system isn't helpful for users who want to report the abuse they see on the site, but the update will "improve the reporting process for those who observe abuse but aren't receiving it directly," according to the company blog post.

Twitter harassment recently made national headlines when Zelda Williams, the daughter of late actor Robin Williams, said she received disturbing messages and Photoshopped images of her father's body after his apparent suicide in August.  

"We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter," Del Harvey, Twitter's vice president of trust and safety, said in a statement at the time. "We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one."

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