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Twitter has announced a new initiative to combat harassment on its platform: the Twitter Trust & Safety Council. 

The formation of the council coincides with Safer Internet Day 2016 and follows vows from Twitter to do more to combat abusive behaviour on its network. The company said yesterday that it will provide “input on our safety products, policies, and programs”.

The council is a group of safety advocates, academics and community groups focused on maintaining open dialogue on Twitter while preventing bullying and abuse. GLAAD has been invited to participate in an effort to support the LGBT community online. Its mission is for online users to be able to “continue to express themselves freely and safely on Twitter.”

Last year, Twitter’s CEO admitted that tackling harassment and bullying had been a challenge for the company, writing in a memo, “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years.”

Patricia Cartes, Twitter’s head of global policy outreach, admits in a blog post: “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.”

Twitter has struggled to increase revenue and its user base, and stopping harassment on the site could help the company in both areas.

“In developing the council, we are taking a global and inclusive approach so that we can hear a diversity of voices,” Cartes wrote.


*GLAAD: Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

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