Just as Safer Internet Day has grown from being a European event in 2004 to being celebrated globally 17 years later, Twitter has also become a global service. Today we join safety partners from over 140 countries to mark #SaferInternetDay2021 and play our part in creating a safer internet for all.
The theme for Safer Internet Day 2021 (@safeinternetday), ‘Together for a better internet’ – speaks to a set of beliefs we share as an online service: that the internet can always be better, that it remains a force for good, and that it’s all of our jobs to make it safe and healthy. We all contribute, we all have our part to play.
The safety of Twitter and the health of the public conversation is our highest priority. In the last year, we have made substantial strides in tackling abusive content on our service globally. There will always be more to do, but we have made meaningful progress. Key highlights for 2020 include:
Key metrics (global):
- More than 1 in 2 of the Tweets we take 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.
- We have seen a 105% increase in accounts actioned by Twitter (locked or suspended for violating the Twitter Rules)
COVID-19 & #ThereIsHelp: Staying safe and informed on Twitter
As the world faced the COVID-19 pandemic, people turned to Twitter to discuss what was happening and find the latest authoritative public health information.
- In March 2020, we launched a COVID-19 misleading information policy to protect the health of the public conversation. Since, our teams have taken enforcement action against 4,658 accounts for violations of this policy and our automated systems have challenged 4.5 million accounts with spammy or manipulative behaviors.
- In order to bring awareness to gender-based violence as cases surged during the so-called “shadow pandemic”, Twitter has supported nonprofit partners globally by providing Ads for Good grants. We also partnered with health authorities and nonprofit organisations in 24 markets to expand our #ThereIsHelp notification service.
- In September 2020, around World Suicide Prevention Day, we worked with the International Association for Suicide Prevention to amplify #SuicidePrevention resources with over 20 NGOs globally. We’ve also partnered with local mental health authorities and nonprofits in 30 markets to again expand our #ThereIsHelp notification service on suicide of self harm.
- When people search terms associated with gender-based violence or suicide of self harm on Twitter, they receive a notification with contact information for local hotlines and other resources to encourage them to reach out for help.
- In December 2020, we expanded the COVID-19 misleading information policy to address Tweets that contain potentially harmful misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines.
Expanding our policies
- Throughout 2020, we updated our rules against Hateful Conduct; to prohibit language that dehumanizes people on the basis of age, disability, disease, race, ethnicity, national origin as well as to include abusive language promoting “conversion therapy” targeting individuals or the entire LGBTQ+ community.
- We expanded our policies to further protect the civic conversation: Twitter’s goal is to further protect against content that could suppress the vote and help stop the spread of harmful misinformation that could compromise the integrity of an election or other civic process.
In Singapore, together with the Singapore Media Literacy Council (@MLCSingapore), we hosted a conversation on Twitter to discuss the community’s role in promoting a safer internet, and shared digital literacy resources to help keep people safe online. We also conducted a virtual safety workshop for Roses of Peace and its youth ambassadors to talk about safety and security tips for young people.
Whether you’ve been on Twitter for a long time or are new to the service, it can’t hurt to pick up tips to have a better experience on Twitter. Here are 5 steps to enjoy a safer Twitter experience:
- Activate two-factor authentication
For the most secure experience on Twitter, turn on Login Verification and Password Reset Verifications. After you enable this feature, you will need your password, along with a secondary login method –– either a code, a login confirmation via an app, or a physical security key to log in to your account. This can be enabled in the Security section of your account settings.
- Protect your Tweets
We’re all for self-expression, but there are just some Tweets we don’t want certain people to see. By default all of your Tweets are public but you can choose to protect your Tweets in settings. Be mindful of sharing personal information such as details about your home or family. If you’re Tweeting pictures with children, consider putting an emoji over their face.
- Advanced Filter Setting
You can control what you see and who you interact with on Twitter. Advanced filter settings allow you to disable notifications from certain types of accounts that you’d like to avoid. In addition, if your account receives a lot of sudden attention, we may insert a notification in your Notifications tab inviting you to adjust these filters to give you more control over what you see.
- Location Sharing
Twitter lets you select whether to include your location on individual Tweets as well as your profile. Think before you post information that could reveal your location. Information that could identify your home, office address or where your children go to school should be avoided. More information can be found here.
- How to report content
It can be distressing to receive unsolicited Tweets that are unkind or abusive – 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.
We are encouraging conversations with a special emoji for the hashtags #SaferInternetDay and #SID2021, available in eighteen languages to encourage conversations around a safer internet.
Throughout 2021, we will continue to support our safety partners, and work to ensure the public conversation on Twitter is healthy, open, and safer. Check out our continuing updates to promote a safer Twitter at @TwitterSafety