Cyberbullying of Zelda Williams prompts Twitter policy change


LOS ANGELES — Twitter has vowed to improve its policies in the wake of the very public decision by Robin Williams’ daughter, Zelda Williams, to abandon Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram after vicious cyberbullying attacks.

The 25-year-old actress signed off of Twitter on Wednesday for “a good long time, maybe forever,” after enduring an onslaught of what she called “cruel and unnecessary” messages from a few Twitter users.

In particular two Twitter handles, @PimpStory and @MrGoosebuster, were particularly offensive and heinous, leading to Williams’ decision to abandon the social media platform altogether. She asked her followers to report the two handles, which were ultimately disabled by Twitter.

“I’m shaking,” Williams wrote while asking for help from her followers after receiving messages blaming her for her father’s death, and altered images purporting to be his corpse. The site currently has a one-click button to report abuse linked to each post in a user’s feed.

“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.”

Facebook, which owns Instagram, said the photo violates its policy, according to the AP, and that it was “being actively flagged and removed across both platforms as it pops up.”

Information for this report was provided by TheWrap.com.

 

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