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Twitter today announced the launch of #TweeSurfing, a public education initiative in collaboration with Centre for Social Research to address online safety issues and spread knowledge on how people can express themselves and engage positively on the platform. In the pilot phase of the project, Twitter undertook various online safety workshops with Center for Social Research, in universities across geographies, like Coimbatore, Noida, Chitkara and Leh.
Twitter's head of policy in India, Mahima Kaul, said the company had conducted a year-long study before launching the campaign. "We felt that the primary issue was a knowledge gap amongst Twitter users in India, who didn't know that the platform had checks and measures to block, report or avoid tweets," said Kaul.
Workshops and a set of guidelines were then put together with the help of Centre for Social Research (CSR), to educate Twitter users in the country. Added Ranjana Kumari of CSR, "A large number of youngsters use Twitter, without understanding positive cyber etiquette. The workshops and guidelines will help them understand that instead of abusive tweets, they can engage in positive debate."
With 328 million users worldwide, Twitter has various ways of screening content, said Kaul, adding that one of the findings of their study was that many in India didn't know that tweets could be reported or screened with tools available on the platform."The platform has evolved in the past decade, and the latest safety updates have been provided. This campaign will help us bridge the knowledge gap here," said Kaul.
"A major aspect of the campaign is safety for women, especially from the aggressive trolling that is evident today.What are offline surfaces online," said the CSR director.