After its users' rape threats became too hard to ignore and the public outcry for an easy way to report such threats grew increasingly louder, Twitter has announced that it will finally create a "Report Abuse" button. Now the big question is: Is this going to do any good?
On Monday night, Twitter's UK division announced that desktop and Android versions of the social platform would have "Report Abuse" buttons. Fast Company confirmed these tools would be available worldwide. The move was largely spurred by Caroline Criado-Perez, a British activist who lobbied (successfully) for the Bank of England to include Jane Austen on a British banknote, and the rape threats she received after this news was announced last week. Criado-Perez started getting "about 50 abusive tweets an hour for about 12 hours." The threats were so awful, they resulted in an arrest on Sunday.
As our Abby Ohlheiser explained, the current pathway to report abuse on Twitter is much more difficult than is constructing a 140-character tweet threatening to rape someone. The "Report Abuse" button will be more immediate. Its many advocates—an online petition has over 103,000 signatures and counting— are hoping that it spurs a quicker response time from the company regarding threatening tweets.