February 9, 2016
Twitter strives to provide an open forum for communication online, but often Twitter—and other similar communities—become a proverbial hotbed of online harassment. This harassment, called “Trolling”, can often appear to start as innocent joking, but all too often progresses into outright bullying or abuse over time. In response, Twitter announced earlier this morning via blog post that they are forming the Twitter Trust & Safety Council.
The Council, according to Twitter is “a global and inclusive approach” that brings together external experts and organizations to help set community policy and policing. The experts are said to be “safety advocates, academics, and researchers” which is likely an intentionally vague list that provides Twitter with the utmost flexibility to steer the Council. Twitter claims that currently over 40 organizations serve as the Council’s initial members, and those organizations are said to be distributed across 13 regions. To see a full list of the inaugural member organizations, visit the Twitter Trust & Safety Council’s “Safety Center” on Twitter.
Some of the goals of the Council are rather lofty and include such concepts as improving “compassion and empathy on the Internet” or “media literacy” while others have a much more direct and immediate reach: the safety of minors, mental health support, and suicide prevention.