August 5th, 2013
01:56 PM ET

Tackling trolls on Twitter

After a dark week for women on social media, many are asking: What do you do if you become the target of online abuse?

Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, offers some practical advice.

She recommends keeping your address and phone number off the Internet, as well as reporting any abuse to the social platform.

As for Twitter, an in-tweet report button is available on Apple devices and will be available for Android and Twitter.com next month.

"And if somebody threatens you with rape online, death threats," says Bates, "you can and should go to police."

Threatening to rape or kill someone is a crime. Even on social media.

August 5th, 2013
01:51 PM ET

How accountable are social networks?

Should Facebook or Twitter do more to clean up their platforms from bullying or direct threats?

Yes... and no, says News Stream contributor Nicholas Thompson.

In the case of Twitter, he says its in-tweet report abuse button might be the best way for the network to deal with online abuse.

"It allows Twitter to self-police without Twitter taking the extreme step of saying, 'we're going to ban this kind of speech'... which always gets you into some kind of trouble," Thompson says.

"Twitter's general policy needs to be to let more speech happen. It shouldn't get in the business of restricting speech except in extreme and particular circumstances."

Click the video above for more of our conversation about encouraging expression while discouraging the trolls.