Social media sites are coming under renewed pressure to do more to tackle “trolls”.
Twitter recently introduced a new “quality filter” which is designed to afford greater protection to those individuals and businesses regularly receiving a torrent of abuse from a handful of persistent and not particularly pleasant individuals.
The site has been admonished in the past for not following the example of other platforms such as Facebook, which insist on having a “real name” policy for all users.
Twitter has yet to adopt a similar approach and there have been concerns that the veil of anonymity makes it easier for people to cause trouble or post offensive content on the site.
While any business using social media may expect to receive the odd approach from someone who will have a genuine concern about the service they have received, it is far more problematic when an account has attracted the attention of someone with apparently no other agenda than to cause trouble.
Foul language and threats are not pleasant to deal with – particularly in circumstances where there appears to be no clear trigger.
If a troll latches onto your account for whatever reason it is important to keep calm and make full use of the facilities to block and report the culprit.
Before firms get too worried about the digital “wild west” sometimes discussed in newspapers, it is important to bear in mind that compared to some social media users – such as celebrities or local politicians – the amount of offensive content likely to be clogging up the timeline of the average business will be very small indeed.
That said, it pays to be vigilant and act quickly if you do find yourself on the receiving end.