One of the big problems of Twitter is the unscrupulous users who use this social network to insult, threaten and harass other users, who often feel helpless.
On February 7 Twitter announced some new developments in safety against “abuse and harassment”. Among the measures announced by Twitter are the fight against the creation of abusive accounts, the presentation of safer search results (eliminating tweets with sensitive content or accounts that have been blocked or silenced) and some improvements to avoid showing “potentially abusive and low-quality replies”, to give priority to the “most relevant conversations”, a change that will be introduced in the coming weeks.
What tools does Twitter offer users to combat stalkers? Here are some of them:
Block the stalker: this is the most recommended option, since it prevents the stalker from reading your tweets or following your account, and at the same time prevents you from seeing what the stalker publishes. You can block a user by going to your Twitter profile, clicking the gear and choosing the option “Block @username”. This option also serves to delete your account from those lists of Twitter in which you have added and in which you do not want to be (it is very often that the stalkers use lists with offensive names to humiliate their victims). At any time you can see the users that you have blocked from the configuration menu of your account (or directly clicking here, as it is a common link for all users).
Mute the stalker: it is an option similar to the block, but with it the stalker can continue reading your tweets and can follow your account. Simply, the mute option prevents you from reading the messages that he writes. To activate it you have to go to the Twitter profile of the stalker, press the gear and choose the option “Mute @username”. At any moment you can see the users that you have silenced from the menu of configuration of your account (or directly clicking here, since it is a common link for all users).
Report the stalker: in certain situations it may be necessary to report to Twitter the behavior of the user who is harassing you. Clicking the sprocket on the profile of the stalker will see the option “Report @username”. Once you click, you will have four options:
Protect your tweets: a option against stalkers is to protect your account and allow to follow you and read your tweets to those users that you authorize. To activate this option you must to click on your personal icon on the top right (in the web version) or on the gear that appears in your profile (in the mobile version) and choose the option “Settings”. Then select the “Privacy and safety” option. You will see the option to protect your tweets, as well as other security options that you should check.
Filter tweets: although it is not the most appropriate option to get rid of the stalkers, Twitter offers you the option to filter the tweets of the people you follow, the mentions you receive and the results of your searches, showing you only the tweets of better quality, selected by Twitter from data such as the origin of tweets and the behavior of their authors. To activate this option you must go to the Settings of your account.
Mute words: this option allows you to stop receiving notifications of tweets containing certain terms. It is useful to avoid reading tweets with insults, for example. This option also allows you to mute certain phrases and also emojis. You can activate this option in the Settings of your account, selecting the option “Muted words”. You will see a space in which you must to enter the word, phrase or emoji in question. If you mute a word, its label will also be muted. For example, muting the word “house” will also mute the “#house” tag. Also, this option is case-insensitive, so if you enter the word “house” in this option, you will not read the word if someone writes “House”.
If the harassment is serious, in addition to reporting it to Twitter and blocking the stalker you should consider filing a complaint at a Police station. Remember that for these reports to be valid it is not enough to write a tweet mentioning the Police account. Check the website of the police in your country to see the tools offered to file complaints.
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