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Twitter has made it easier to report threatening tweets directed at its users which may need attention from law enforcement, it announced in a blog post yesterday. It said that Twitter’s summary report “hopes to ease the process” where its users, in need of physical safety, are looking to file police reports about the threat/harm to them. It uses this form to report abusive or harassing users and this link to report violations.

File report and get it emailed:

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After a user files a report for a threatening tweet directed towards him/her, the user sees an option on the end-screen to receive a summary of the report via email. Clicking the “email report” button will combine the threatening tweet and its URL, the responsible user handle and URL, a timestamp and the reporting user’s account info and timestamp of the report.

Twitter’s action:

It will suspend accounts it thinks are “inappropriate” in terms of threats of violence but suggests that users contact their local law enforcement if they’re “concerned about their physical safety.”

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What data does Twitter store?

To define its privacy policy and to comply with law enforcement, Twitter stores data like basic account info (name, email address, phone number), pictures, websites, location, imported address book contacts, tweet metadata (time of tweet, lists, following, favorites etc), IP address, links (from email notifications, third-party services, and client applications), cookies, log data (IP address, browser, OS, mobile carrier, device information, search terms etc.), widget data, commerce services (credit/debit card number/CVV code, billing address etc.) and third-parties and affiliates data among others.

Previous policy updates:

  • Earlier this month, Twitter updated its privacy policy to take down non-consensual nude photos and non-consensual videos of sexual acts.
  • Last month, Twitter announced improvements to its harassment-reporting process which includes issues like “impersonation, self-harm and the sharing of private and confidential information”. After streamlining the process to report harassment, the changes were expected to rolled out globally in the coming weeks.
  • Last month, Twitter revealed in its latest Transparency Report that between July 1 and December 31, 2014, Twitter did not withhold any tweets from India. In this period, it received one court ordered removal request and 14 removal requests from the police and various other government agencies and it complied with 7% of these requests.

Image Credit: Flickr user Garrett Heath