Back in February, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo recognised that the company "suck[ed] at dealing with abuse." Since then it has tried to tackle the issue by hiring more people to enforce its abuse policies, and added new tools to report harassment.
Now, Twitter has updated its terms of service to crack down on harassment further. "The updated language emphasizes that Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user's voice," Megan Cristina, Twitter's director of trust and safety, wrote in a blog post.
"As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs — but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse."
While Twitter's rules note that it believes in "freedom of expression and in speaking truth to power," it adds that this "means little as an underlying philosophy if voices are silenced because people are afraid to speak up." One of the big additions to the updated terms of service bans "hateful conduct" that targets users on the basis of their race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability, or disease. The rule also bans creating multiple accounts for the primary purpose of inciting harm toward others based on those categories.
Hopefully this reduces the amount of harassment seen on Twitter.