Twitter has pledged change its policies to "better handle tragic situations"

After abusive Twitter trolls harassed Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda Williams to the point where she quit social media entirely, an official for the site has responded. Twitter’s Vice President of Trust and Safety pledged on Thursday to review the site’s policies to help prevent future harassment scenarios like Zelda Williams’. “We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter,” he wrote. “We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one. This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users.”

Twitter has pledged to update its policies regarding abuse and user safety, following a series of distressing incidents that caused Zelda WIlliams, daughter of the late comedian and actor Robin Williams, to leave the social network. Two accounts have been removed by Twitter after Zelda Williams received abusive messages and doctored pictures, and subsequently announced she would be leaving the social network. In a statement, Twitter’s vice president of trust and safety Del Harvey said the company would be addressing a variety of different issues that the event had raised and would update its policies accordingly. “We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter. We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one. This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users.” The social network has long struggled to balance its determination to promote free speech with the need to tackle abuse. The fallout from the terrible abuse suffered by campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez resulted in Twitter rolling outan abuse button to make it easier for users to report problems they were encountering. Two of those that targeted Criado-Perez were jailed earlier this year for their part in the torrent of abuse she suffered.

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