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Safeguarding yourself from and documenting abuse on Twitter

Twitter is growing, how to safeguard yourself

With over 200 million Twitter accounts creating over 1,650 tweets per second, it is not inconceivable that a Twitter user will come across someone who is rude, abusive or even a stalker. It is an unfortunate part of real life and it is a danger online as well.

Twitter offers guidelines in their Help Center from how to behave to how to report. Users are encouraged not to encourage bullies by retweeting their mean tweets as bullying can get heated, misunderstood, and out of hand very quickly. Escalation online is unfortunately much easier than escalation in person.

Users are told not to give any private information out over Twitter, especially because someone may not be who they say they are. Twitter encourages keeping your phone number, social security number, credit card numbers and the like to yourself. Abusive Twitter accounts can be blocked at any time and ultimately, a Twitter account can be set to protected (private) so that only approved connections can see a user’s updates.

If someone turns from a bully into a stalker, users are told to contact law enforcement. Unfortunately, with over 200 million users, most users, especially women, are bound to run into a creep at some time or another.

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Documenting harassment

If users get the sense that something is getting out of control, although Twitter encourages blocking and no longer communicating with that person, their abuses should be documented, especially if filing a police report.

Olivier Blanchard said, “though Tweetreports is typically used for brand and keyword monitoring, SEO research, tagged bookmarking and other business-focused activities on Twitter, it lends itself quite well to this use as well.”

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