Twitter, a service that admits it sucks at dealing with trolls, just announced a new tool for reporting harassment to the police. It looks like a good step at first glance—if you ignore the fact that it's a responsibility dodging, spineless fix that's highly unlikely to help anyone being harassed or threatened Twitter. This is a PR stunt, not a solution.
There is middle ground to be explored between castrating Twitter's capabilities as a free speech machine and introducing measures that actually counter abuse. Twitter could, for instance, employ proactive abuse moderators. These moderators could cooperate with appropriate law enforcement agencies and help people getting threatened make contact with police, not by giving them a copy of their complaint but by actually setting up contact. These abuse moderators could keep tabs on IP addresses known to spawn more than one abusive account. Read More