Filipinos who want to be in-the-know of #WhatsHappening go to Twitter. It is their platform for timely conversations and interests, that’s why Twitter is committed to design rules and policies to keep it a safe space for all.
First held in 2004, this year’s celebration of Safer Internet Day encourages every Filipino to work “Together for a Better Internet.” Twitter and its partners all over the world are also hand in hand in ensuring for a Safer Internet and beyond.
Over the past 12 months, Twitter has made substantial strides in tackling abusive content on its service globally. There will always be more to do, but there is surely meaningful progress. Key highlights include:
- More than 1 in 2 of Tweets taken action on for abuse are now proactively surfaced using technology, rather than relying on reports to Twitter – this compares to 1 in 5 tweets in 2018;
- There is a 105% increase in accounts actioned by Twitter (locked or suspended for violating the Twitter Rules);
- In November 2019, Twitter launched the option globally for users to hide replies to their Tweets — now anyone can choose to hide replies to their Tweets;
- In December 2019, Twitter expanded and diversified its Trust and Safety Council, which brings together experts and organizations from around the world to help advise on developing products, programs and the Twitter Rules;
- Last Tuesday, Twitter announced a new rule to address synthetic & manipulated media. From 5 March, Twitter will start labeling Tweets if believed that media shared within them have been significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated. Labels will link to a Twitter moment to provide additional context from reputable sources on the content in question.
From Twitter novices to seasoned veterans, there’s no harm nor any loss of fun in learning a little more about ways to stay safer when using Twitter. Whether you just enjoy reading the feeds, or you love Tweeting about traffic or your cat, here are some simple steps you should consider to make your Twitter experience safe and empowering.
- Enable two-factor authentication
Turn on Login Verification and Password Reset Verifications. Enabling login verification or 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) will ensure that a One Time Password (OTP) is sent to your mobile, providing an additional layer of security for your account. Only people who have access to both your password and your mobile phone (or a security key) will be able to log in to your account. More information can be found here.
- Protect Your Account
When you sign up to Twitter, your Tweets are public by default and are seen by everyone – followers, non-followers and even those without a Twitter account. However, you have the option of protecting your Tweets so it’s only visible to approved followers (yes, anyone who requests to follow you has to be approved by you!) and the Tweets won’t appear in Google searches. All you have to do is enable the “Protect your Tweets” in account settings.
- Keep trolls and bullies at bay
Just like in real life, you may encounter a troll, stalker or a bully along the way. Dealing with this is much easier on Twitter though, as there are some simple and effective solutions. You can restrict specific accounts from contacting you, seeing your Tweets, and following you by blocking them. You can mute an account to remove its Tweets from your timeline without unfollowing or blocking the account. Mute can also be applied for specific words, conversations, phrases, usernames, emojis, or hashtags. You can also use Advanced Mute for particular words, conversations, phrases, usernames, emojis, or hashtags.
If you find the behaviour abusive and think it may cause harm to others too, then report it to Twitter (you can report Tweets, accounts, Lists and Direct Messages). That way, you are also doing a favour for the Twitter community at large.
- Think before Tweeting
Your Tweet is out there on the Internet. The words you Tweet could carry weight over time and backfire in the future. As for the present, some negative Tweets or harsh criticism could also invite bullies and trolls. Read what you are going to say twice before Tweeting. The easiest thing to do is never to Tweet anything you wouldn’t want others to say about you. Don’t be a bully yourself.
- Be careful of what personal information you share
We live in a time where people love to share. But think what it is you are sharing; be wary of sharing too much personal information. Remember, once you have Tweeted, it can be seen, Retweeted, shared; did you really want to tell people where you live, who your family are and where they go to work? Similarly, location sharing can be risky. Twitter lets you select whether to include location on your profile and Tweets, and by default it is switched off. If you opt in, think each time before you Tweet: you may be revealing information about where you live or where your children go to school. Control what information you share with the location sharing feature in Twitter.
Making Twitter safer is not a job we can do alone. In addition to supporting people on Twitter with the tools they need to make their Twitter experience safe and enjoyable; across the world today and throughout February, we are working with our network of safety partners to amplify their guidance, provide Ads for Good grants to support their campaigns, and collaborating on what we can all do to create a better Internet. We are running safety training and delivering presentations on our work across four continents, and participating in events globally to commemorate the day.
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