I really liked this article, I think you’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head with a big problem that plagues all social networks, and in particular Twitter.
It reminded me of when Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, (YouTube’s most subscribed to channel with 39,851,400 subscribers at the time of writing), switched off comments on all of his videos because of Google’s failure to tackle spam and trolling. That’s a big statement, and really does highlight that there is a real problem of abuse on social networks.
I was thinking about how might we tackle the issue head on, one way may be to learn from the gaming industry and how they are tackling cheating.
Blizzard recently issued an outright 6 month ban to over a 100,000 World of Warcraft accounts, and Sony Online Entertainment, the makers behind H1Z1 have started issuing permanent bans until the cheater publicly apologies. And other games have started marking players as cheaters, and as a result only match make them with other cheaters.
Perhaps rather than issuing an outright ban, spammers and trollers should be flagged in a similar way by the community, and are then limited to only interacting with other spammers and trolls as a result, unless they issue a public apology.
The only way to tackle online abuse is to weave the same set of morals that we expect offline in society into the fabric of our online communities. People are only going to change when there are real consequences to their actions.