There will always be trolls, but Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is finally putting its foot down on abuse the same day that Ask.com purchased Ask.fm, a site that has been blamed for multiple suicides based on “cyber-bullying”, and promised to put an end to this harassment. Twitter is going the same way after Zelda Williams was tortured by trolls following her father’s tragic death.
“We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter,” Twitter’s vice president of trust and safety Del Harvey said in a statement today. “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. This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users.”
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Zelda Williams was forced to enlist friends to report the abuse because she couldn’t stand to look at the links necessary for her to report the abuse. Twitter’s policy at the time would have required her to open the links of hanging victims in order to have them blocked and possibly tossed from the microblogging site.
Finally, she just called it quits on both Twitter and Instagram with a final post.
Two final posts
“I will be leaving this account for awhile I heal and decide if I’ll be deleting it or not,” she wrote. “In this difficult time, please try to be respectful of the accounts of myself, my family and my friends. Mining our accounts for photos of dad, or judging me on the number of them is cruel and unnecessary…That’s not what I want for our memories together. Thank you for your respect and understanding in this difficult time. Goodbye. Xo.”
It’s truly a shame that the Internet has given rise to this sort of behavior but Ms. Williams seems to have bounce back evidenced by a recent Tumblr post that highlighted both the sense of humor that she has and her father had.
“As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you’ve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh, too.”