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In the Wake Of Depraved Cyberbullying of Zelda Williams, Twitter Vows to Make Changes

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | August 14, 2014 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | August 14, 2014 |


Earlier this week, the writers and editors over at Jezebel took aim at their own employer, Gawker Media, for failing to appropriately protect them from the garbage trolls who have been flooding their comments sections with graphic GIFs of rape and violence. After speaking up, Gawker finally stepped in and did something.

Now, two days after Zelda Williams abandoned social media after two disgusting, depraved, sick f**ks Tweeted images of a dead body made to look like her father, Robin, Twitter has decided it would like to do something about that, too.

“We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter,” Del Harvey, Twitter’s vice president of trust and safety, said in a statement. “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.”

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what the social network can really do beyond aggressively removing these individuals and perhaps banning IP addresses, but that probably won’t stop persistent, stubborn trolls, who can create new accounts and mask IPs. Shit will get through. It always gets through. Playing whack-a-mole with Twitter and FB accounts only gets you so far.

The old Rapture films from back in the day (and for all I know, the ones that still exist) used to suggest that one day we’d all have bar codes tattooed onto our bodies, and that’s how we’d be identified (it’s how the Devil marked us). Sometimes, I’m not so sure that we shouldn’t do something like that: Tie everyone’s social media accounts — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — to a real person. People should fucking be held accountable for their bullsh*t, and if they’re going to send heinous crap like that to a woman who just tragically lost her father, we should be able to put them in social media prison: Suspend them for a year, five years, or a lifetime, depending on the severity of the cyberbullying.

Does that make me a freedom-hating Communist? I don’t know. I’m not suggesting the government implement any of these practices because that might encroach on one’s First Amendment rights, but maybe it’s not such a bad idea that private corporations like FB and Twitter insist that all accounts be tied to a real person who can be located and, more importantly, banned. I’m sick to f**king death of these cyberbullying trolls ruining the Internet for everyone.

Source: The Wrap



Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.


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