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, Twitter joins safety partners from over 140 countries to mark #SaferInternetDay2021 and play the 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 the micro-blogging platform 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.
The safety of Twitter and the health of the public conversation is the company’s highest priority. In the last year, Twitter has made substantial strides in tackling abusive content on their service globally.
Key highlights for 2020 include:
Key metrics (global):
● More than 1 in 2 of the Tweets the company 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.
● Twitter has seen a 105% increase in accounts actioned by them (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, Twitter launched a COVID-19 misleading information policy to protect the health of the public conversation. Since, their teams have taken enforcement action against 4,658 accounts for violations of this policy and their 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. The tech company also partnered with health authorities and nonprofit organizations in 24 markets to expand the social media platform’s #ThereIsHelp notification service.
● In September 2020, around World Suicide Prevention Day, Twitter worked with the International Association for Suicide Prevention to amplify #SuicidePrevention resources with over 20 NGOs globally. They’ve also partnered with local mental health authorities and nonprofits in 30 markets to again expand their #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, Twitter expanded the COVID-19 misleading information policy to address Tweets that contain potentially harmful misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines.
Expanding Twitter policies
● Throughout 2020, Twitter updated their 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.
● Twitter expanded their 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 the Philippines, Twitter will be hosting a 280-character panel discussion together with Plan International Philippines (@planphilippines), ECPAT Philippines (@ECPATPh), and UNICEF Philippines (@unicefphils) on February 9, 6-7PM. This #OnlyOnTwitter discussion will highlight the community’s role in promoting a safer internet, and shared digital literacy resources to help keep people safe online.
Twitter is 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,Twitter will continue to support our safety partners, and work to ensure the public conversation on Twitter is healthy, open, and safer.