Twitter to change policies to 'better handle tragic situations' after Robin Williams’ daughter is attacked by trolls

By Ishbel Macleod | PR and social media consultant

August 14, 2014 | 1 min read

Twitter is set to evaluate its policies following Robin Williams’ daughter, Zelda, leaving the social media platform after trolls blamed her for his suicide and sent mocked-up pictures of his dead body.

In a statement on the issue, Del Harvey, Twitter's vice president of trust and safety, said: “We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter.”

She added: "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.”

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This is not the first time that people have felt forced to quit Twitter following abuse: last year, campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez left the platform after receiving threats of rape and death. Those who threatened her were later jailed.

This year saw Stan Collymore briefly quit the site following racism.

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