Tuesday Buzz: Twitter Takes On the Trolls

The social network’s plans to tackle online abuse get more sophisticated. Also: why you should give employees a chance to get their bearings in the morning.

Twitter has lots of benefits, but they’re sometimes undercut by a lingering online-abuse problem. On Tuesday, the company introduced some new tools to allow users to block abusive activity.

“Because Twitter happens in public and in real time, we’ve had some challenges keeping up with and curbing abusive conduct,” the company said in a statement. “We took a step back to reset and take a new approach, find and focus on the most critical needs, and rapidly improve.”

Twitter announced that it has expanded the mute feature to the site’s notifications panel, has created a more direct reporting mechanism for users who see abusive content, and is retraining its support teams on what constitutes abusive and hateful content.

“We don’t expect these announcements to suddenly remove abusive conduct from Twitter,” the company emphasized. “No single action by us would do that. Instead we commit to rapidly improving Twitter based on everything we observe and learn.”

Twitter has long struggled with the troll issue and hasn’t always made addressing it a priority. In August, BuzzFeed reporter Charlie Warzel explained [note: strong language] how the company’s leadership has minimized it in the past.

But this new commitment could make Twitter a little safer for users who might be targeted by abuse.

Early-Morning Headaches

Starting off on the right foot each day is essential, and association management firm Zzeem is sharing a series of tips on how to ensure that you’re not killing your team’s mood first thing in the morning.

One of the tips comes from Harvard Business Review contributor Nancy Rothbard, who warns of the danger of early meetings. Rothbard, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, recently conducted research showing how people responded when starting the day off the wrong way.

“[F]or the most part, people who started the day in a terrible mood didn’t really climb out of it, and felt even worse by the end of the day—even after interacting with positive customers,” she wrote.

So maybe give people a chance to get their bearings before holding the big meeting?

Bad subject lines. At The Muse, Sara McCord highlights a few follow-up emails you probably shouldn’t ever send.

The purge begins. TechCrunch reports that Apple has begun purging iOS apps that have failed to receive recent updates—47,300, to be exact. Is yours one of them?

Steer in the right direction. At the Congrex Switzerland website, Frank M. Waechter breaks down how to best organize a conference steering committee.

(Reuters file photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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