Building a Safer Twitter with Improved Tools to Report Cyberbullying

Twitter Cyberbullying Reporting Tools: Twitter is fighting against cyberbullying by upping their game when it comes to user protection.

Twitter is fighting against cyberbullying by upping their game when it comes to user protection. 

The social media platform recently made changes to make it easier to report cyberbullying, harassment, and spamming.

Changes to Twitter Reporting and Blocking Features

Twitter has decreased the amount of information needed to report a user and made the process more mobile-friendly in order to speed up the process of reporting, reviewing, and managing cyberbully.

Recent changes also make it easier for users who see harassment to report it, enabling other users to step in when they see bullying.

Twitter also added features related to blocking. Users can now see a list of accounts they have blocked from a page accessible in settings, and users you have blocked can no longer view your profile.

When to Report a User

You should advise your child to report a user anytime they see the following.

  • Threats – user is making direct threats of violence, threats are directed at an individual or a group of people targeted by race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Abuse – user is repeatedly engaging with individual in one-sided harassment
  • Targeted Abuse – individual has created multiple accounts in order to send messages to the same person from multiple accounts, the sole purpose of the account is to send abusive messages
  • Serial Accounts – user has created multiple accounts in order to be disruptive and spammy
  • Spam – user posts duplicate content, messages usually include links that are posted repeatedly and rapidly, user repeatedly posts misleading and false information
  • Private Information – user is sharing personal information (phone numbers, addresses, banking information, etc.) of other individuals
  • Offensive Content – users is directly messaging individuals obscene or pornographic images

Twitter considers all of these actions as a violation of Twitter Rules and may suspend users who engage in the activities. You can find full instructions on reporting violations in Twitter’s Support Guide.

Related: Social Media, Bullying and What You Can Do to Help

Remember that sometimes reporting a user through Twitter is not enough.

If you believe you or someone else is in danger due to information you saw on Twitter, contact local law enforcement.

Cyberbullying Is Still an Issue

Twitter is committed to making their social space safer for users, and they plan to add more features and controls for both reporting and blocking users. They recently stated on their blog, “We’ll continue to work hard on these changes in order to improve the experience of people who encounter abuse on Twitter.”

But that doesn’t mean parents should sit back and let Twitter handle it. Parents should remain involved in their child’s social media world by connecting with and monitoring the engagement on their Twitter account.

With MamaBear, The Ultimate Parenting App™, parents receive notifications when their child gets a new follower or follows someone new, is @mentioned in a message, and uses certain restricted words or risky language. It makes for simple connectivity, easy monitoring, and fast response time to cyberbully and harassment.

See how MamaBear can help protect your child by adding it to your iPhone or Android.

Cyberbullying Is Now a Parent’s Greatest Fear, Survey Says

A new survey finds that parents are now more afraid of cyberbullying than teenage pregnancy, drug use, or alcohol consumption. | MamaBear App

If you are worried that your child could become a victim of cyberbullying, you aren’t alone. According to an article published by The Windsor Star, parents are now more concerned about cyberbullying than any other youth problem.

In a survey, backed by Canadian telecommunications provider Primus, almost half of parents said they were concerned about cyberbullying (48%). Parents were less concerned with other issues. Forty-four percent were worried about teen pregnancy, 44% about drug use, and 38% about alcohol use.

It could be that parents are extra worried about online bullying because they don’t completely understand it. Unlike pregnancy, drinking, and drugs, this is a problem that wasn’t around when they were teenagers. They have not experienced the situation first hand, so they don’t know how to handle it. This highlights how important it is for parents to educate themselves on online safety habits and cyberbullying prevention.

To learn more about the study, read “Cyberbullying has become the greatest fear of parents, survey says.”

Georgia Court Says Parents Can Be Liable For Kids Facebook Posts

A son's Facebook prank lands two parents in court. The parents were sued after failing to make their son remove a malicious, fake profile he created.

Parents are more responsible for their child’s social media activity than they may think. A recent story on TechDirt.com recounts a Georgia lawsuit in which two parents were sued because of what their child did on social media.

Their son was caught cyberbullying and suspended from school after he created a malicious, fake Facebook profile that depicted another student with distorted features and inappropriate status updates. The student’s parents were notified that their son had created the profile, but they never made him take the page down.

The family of the bullied student and their lawyer then filed suit against the parents for defamation, claiming that it was the parents’ responsibility to make their son remove the fake profile page. Parents are responsible for how their children use social media and this case pushes the limits of that responsibility even further.

You can find the full details of the case in “Dangerous Rulings: Georgia Court Says Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook.”

8 Back to School Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Internet Safety Tips for Kids. Here are eight important online safety conversations to have with your child before the first bell rings. | MamaBear

As students head back to school, many will take their own smartphones for the first time. Others will enter classrooms where they will start regularly using the internet for school projects. So this year, it’s time to add one more item to your back to school checklist — discussing internet safety tips for kids.

Here are eight important online safety conversations to have with your child before the first bell rings.

1. Use the privacy settings to keep your account private.

Each social media account has their own features for keeping your account private. Go through each account to make sure you are only sharing information with close friends and family and that all personal information is hidden.

2. Don’t give your password to anyone but your parents or primary caregiver.

If a friend, teacher, or babysitter asks for your password, say no. If an adult insists, tell them you need a parent present before you can share access to your account. Friends don’t need your password, and no adult should request it without a parent’s consent.

3. Don’t share sensitive information about yourself or your family online.

Sensitive information includes your: address, name of your school, phone number, and age. If someone repeatedly asks for such information, tell a parent or adult.

4. Don’t share photos or posts that would embarrass or expose you or anyone else.

If you can’t tell what is embarrassing or racy, ask yourself, “Would it be okay if this was shown on television news or attached to a job resume?” If the answer is no, then don’t post it. Images and words create a lasting digital footprint that can be hard to delete, so always think before you post.

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5. Don’t accept requests from anyone you don’t know in real life, even if you have multiple mutual friends.

Only accept people that you personally know, and don’t accept someone just because many of your friends have.

6. Never agree to meet in-person with someone that you met online.

People that you know online are strangers in real life, and they are just as dangerous as any other stranger. If someone asks you to meet them, remember the stranger danger rule — say no and immediately tell an adult.

Related: Protecting Kids from Internet Stranger Danger

7. If you see any type of cyberbullying, don’t respond or participate.

Go tell a parent immediately. Even if you are trying to stop someone from bullying, it is better to not get involved. Instead, notify a parent or adult so they can address and help solve the problem.

8. Talk to an adult if you encounter anything that makes you uncomfortable.

Cyberbullying may be easy to spot and identify, but there are other internet dangers that may not be as obvious. If you have any internet encounters that feels weird or unusual or awkward, tell an adult.

It’s important to have open communication about social media and online safety with your child. In the real world, have regular conversations that discuss both the upsides and the downsides of the internet. Then connect through MamaBear Family Safety app to stay connected in the digital world. The free app is available for both Androids and iPhones.