With the world still mourning the death of Robin Williams, it seems that Twitter has been quick to step in to deal with the problems that his daughter faced as a result of posts to her account. Having told her followers that she was no longer able to continue posting, Twitters Vice President of Trust and Safety has declared “We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter”
He has gone on to confirm that there are a number of accounts that have been suspended as they have been connected to the incident and also gives a promise that Twitter is looking at ways that it can put into place policies that will allow circumstances such as the one Zelda Williams found herself in a thing of the past.
It is not just going to be aimed at cases were there has been a death and other users have felt free to post inappropriate remarks, but will include self-harm issues and private information, although a large part of it will be to give better support to family members who have lost a user.
It has been well documented that the reason for Zelda Williams deletion of her account and while this has been appalling for her it is at least looking at preventing others going through the same thing.
This is just the latest in a stream of reports that users have had to endure additional misery at a time when they are at their lowest and it is to their credit that Twitter have seen this and are reacting. The saddest part of this episode seems to be that many people were supportive of Zelda and her family and due to the fact that she has deleted her account will mean that she will never see many thousands of good and kind Tweets that were made.
The two who have had their accounts suspended are not the only ones to find themselves in trouble. Stories have reached us regarding Steven Salits who is a Professor of Indigenous Studies and has found himself in trouble for inflammatory Tweets posted about Israel. He was due to begin a new job at the University of Illinois but his bad timing has left him unemployed.
Tweets including “The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you” have reached the board of trustees and the offer has been removed.