Twitter to boost policies after trolls force Robin Williams’ daughter off site

15 Aug 2014

Microblogging site Twitter is “in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies” after trolls forced Zelda Williams, daughter of actor and comedian Robin Williams, off the network.

Williams also left photo-sharing network Instagram for the same reason, just days after her father’s suicide by hanging earlier this week. Some Twitter and Instagram users blamed her for her father’s death, and sent her photos that depicted him with bruises around his neck.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported Williams (25) as having tweeted a message saying, “deleting this (Twitter) from my devices for a good long time, maybe forever”. She had also asked her Twitter followers to ask the company to block two particular accounts. Twitter responded by hitting its delete button when it came to those two accounts.

The social network also issued a statement, in which it said it will not tolerate abuse of this nature.

“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,” said Del Harvey, Twitter’s vice-president of trust and safety.

“This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users.”

Zelda and Robin Williams image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic