When people experience harassment online, they can report the harassers and content to the platform where the harassment has occurred. Platforms then evaluate harassment reports against terms of use and other policies to decide whether to remove content or take action against the alleged harasser–or not. 

In November 2014, Twitter granted Women, Action, and the Media (WAM!) “authorized reporter” status, allowing the group to special privileges to identify and report inappropriate content on behalf of others. We worked with our colleagues at WAM! to build a methodology for assessing and reporting these cases.

Over the course of three weeks, our joint team worked to assess 811 incoming reports of harassment and escalated 161 reports to Twitter, ultimately seeing Twitter carry out 70 account suspensions, 18 warnings, and one deleted account. Together, we produced a report that presents findings from this three-week project; it draws on both quantitative and qualitative methods. Findings focus on the people reporting and receiving harassment, the kinds of harassment that were reported, Twitter’s response to harassment reports, the process of reviewing harassment reports, and challenges for harassment reporting processes.

Read the report here.