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Twitter Seeking External Assistance To Combat Cyber Abuse

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Twitter, on Tuesday, announced that it is setting up external experts to battle harassment and cyber abuse that occurs on its service.

The company is forming what is dubbed the Twitter Trust & Safety Council, a group of safety advocates, academics and community groups focused on maintaining open dialogue on Twitter while preventing bullying and abuse.

The introduction of the council is the latest response by Twitter to combat abuse received by some users. In late 2014, Twitter unveiled a series of new tools to make it easier to block abusive users and report them for harassment.

According to Twitters head of global policy outreach Patricia Cartes, more than 40 organizations and experts from 13 regions are joining as inaugural members of Twitter’s freshly-created Trust and Safety Council.

In a blogpost, Cartes said: “With hundreds of millions of Tweets sent per day, the volume of content on Twitter is massive, which makes it extraordinarily complex to strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power.

“It requires a multi-layered approach where each of our 320 million users has a part to play, as do the community of experts working for safety and free expression.

“We are taking a global and inclusive approach so that we can hear a diversity of voices.”

Participating groups include Anti-Bullying Pro, Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, Family Online Safety Institute, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

In response to an employee question just over a year ago about cyber bullying and abuse, which is rife on the platform, former CEO of Twitter Dick Costolo made a frank admission.

He said: “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years.

“We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.

“I’m frankly ashamed of how poorly we’ve dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO.

“It’s absurd. There’s no excuse for it. I take full responsibility.”

The moves come as Twitter attempts to speed up growth in its monthly active user base, which has slowed in recent quarters.