Be careful about what you post and always disable location services. Avoid sharing information like full name, birthdate, phone number, or email address.
2. Remove yourself from data-broker sites
The reality is, you don’t have a lot of control over the amount of personal information that ends up available about you online.
Third-party agents called data brokers collect your online information, like personal data or online behavior, and profit by selling it to the highest bidders. They are also one of the main reasons your personal information gets compromised.
But, if you were to remove your information from those databases, you would ensure that anyone targeting you for harassment would not be able to get their hands on details concerning any sensitive information, like your age, financial records, or property details.
3. Always report abusive behavior as soon as possible
It’s crucial to report incidents of Twitter harassment as soon as possible so admins can take the appropriate action before the tweets or accounts in question cause more damage.
It’s likely that a harasser who’s targeted you, for example, has other targets in mind. The more individuals who can report—or even mute or block—an abusive tweet or account helps reinforce what action Twitter needs to take to secure its online community.
4. Be aware of suspicious links
This might seem obvious, but never click any suspicious-looking link sent to you via Twitter, or from anywhere else—even if it’s from a user you know. It’s possible that a Twitter mutual’s account can be hacked by a fraudster trying to get others to access a malicious link.
5. Protect your passwords
If you haven’t already, change your online passwords regularly, and make sure you don’t use the same password across multiple accounts. For instance, your Twitter password should not be the same as a password for other social media profiles.
Since it might be too much to remember all the passwords for various accounts, the easy alternative is a password manager that can help you not only generate strong and secure passwords, but keep them all safely in one place.
What Twitter is doing about harassment
What’s defined as harassment can manifest in many different ways, but the following list details the situations Twitter itself classifies as “harassment.”
Calling for harm to come to a person or group (including using keywords like “wishing” or “hoping”)
Unwanted sexual advances
Insults, profanity, or slurs for the purpose of intimidation
Encouraging or calling on others to harass an individual or group of people
Ultimately, if any of the above scenarios apply to a situation on Twitter experienced by you or someone you know, the incident should be formally reported as soon as possible.
How to report abuse to Twitter
There are two ways to report an incident of harassment to Twitter. You can report an individual tweet as abusive, or you can report an abusive account.
On certain occasions, it might be appropriate to file both these reports, especially if a specific account has published several abusive tweets.
Reporting a tweet
1 Find the tweet you’d like to report and click the three dots in its upper-right corner.
2 Select “Report Tweet.”
3 Click “It’s abusive or harmful.”
4 Choose the option that describes the situation best and provide Twitter with any additional information requested. You’ll be asked to sign the report.
5 After the report is filed, you’ll get a confirmation. Depending on circumstances, Twitter admin might offer additional consultation.
Report an account
1 Go to the account profile and click the three dots in the upper-right corner of the page.
2 Select “Report.”
3 Choose an option or options that describes the situation best.
4 After you’ve chosen all applicable options, provide any information requested. Then, you’ll be asked to sign the report.
5 Once submitted, you’ll receive a confirmation as well as recommendations for additional actions you can take.
What happens after you file a report with Twitter
Once your harassment report has been submitted, Twitter will review the tweet or account highlighted in the report.
If the highlighted tweet or account is found by Twitter to violate their official harassment policy, admin will take one of the following actions:
Send the account a warning
Downrank the tweet or tweets in replies (except in cases when the user follows the author)
Classify tweets as ineligible for amplification in top search results and/or on timelines for users who don’t follow the author
Require removal of the tweet or tweets
Temporarily or permanently suspend the account
You should receive an update on what actions will or have been taken on the tweet or account that you have reported after Twitter has reviewed the report.
Better protection means better online security
While you now have a good idea about how to report harassment on Twitter, hopefully you also have a good understanding about how to protect your online privacy from potential harassers. Remember, it’s highly recommended that you remove your personal information from the Internet to take proper care of your online privacy and prevent harassers from getting a hold of any of your sensitive personal information.
Will Simonds runs Senior Marketing Operations at DeleteMe, and is a steadfast privacy advocate who has a resolute dedication to online privacy solutions and helping people regain their privacy.
Since joining DeleteMe in 2015, Will has worked in a number of different roles.
From launching the DeleteMe affiliate program, creating and maintaining hundreds of opt-out guides, fine-tuning DeleteMe’s customer communications and improving website conversion efficiency, Will lives and breathes DeleteMe.
Will earned his BBA from Endicott College.