Following the death of her father, Robin Williams, Zelda Williams decided to quit Twitter and Instagram due to the online harassment she had been receiving.
The Twitter taunts included digitally doctored images of Robin Williams. According to The Verge, one such disturbing photo had been edited to show bruises around the late actor’s neck in a fake autopsy attempt.
In response to the blames on Zelda for having caused her father’s suicide, and insensitive content regarding the death of the famous comedian, Twitter announced that there would be plans to look into its current harassment policies and that they would not “tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter”, as reported to The Washington Post.
Also in the statement to the Post, the vice president of trust and safety at Twitter, Del Harvey, added that Twitter is “evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one”. He was referring to the harassment 25-year-old Zelda had been victim to. He also mentioned that they may enforce more stringent policies for self-harm or private information on Twitter. “A number of accounts” related to Zelda’s harassment, including her two main perpetrators @pimpstory and @MrGoosebuster, have been removed from the service.
To curb the rise of trolls on Twitter, the service now includes a “report abuse” button for users to flag abusive content and accounts.
Also read: Robin Williams’ Sudden Death Shows Us The Dark Side Of Depression
Twitter’s Help Center also features an article, “Online Abuse”, which contains useful information on how to deal with harassment on the site. Options include, ‘unfollowing’, blocking’, and ‘reporting’ the abusive user.
Online abuse and cyberbullying can affect anyone, from high profile individuals like Zelda Williams, to regular users like yourself. Report any harmful and abusive behaviour on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to combat trolling.
And if you’re the troll, it’s time to ‘fess up or make some changes. Here are 5 simple tips to help you become a more gracious netizen.
Social Media Etiquette:
1. Be human, not a troll; be sensitive and respond kindly to personal events of other users, such as the death of a loved one. If you have nothing nice or constructive to say, don’t say anything at all.
2. Avoid posting gruesome images, especially those involving self-harm. These can be triggering to some, or even lead to copycat behaviour.
3. Stop shaming people, whether it’s fat-shaming, or gender-related. Making fun of someone else only shows your insecurities, not theirs.
4. Don’t be annoying. No need to post 5 consecutive posts about your dinner. You don’t want to spam someone’s feed. Bragging rights might be yours, but don’t abuse it.
5. Think before you type. Don’t offend or defame someone and risk landing yourself in hot soup a.k.a legal action.
Also read: Five Videos To Show That Robin Williams Was More Than A Movie Star