Twitter is expanding its Safe Mode feature, which allows users to temporarily block accounts that send harmful or abusive tweets.
Several countries, including the UK and the US, are preparing legislation to require all social media sites to act quickly against hate speech or face fines.
Twitter has struggled to deal with abuse and harassment on its platform and is now under closer scrutiny from regulators.
What is hate speech?
Hate speech is abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, particularly on the basis of race, religion, skin colour, gender identity, gender identity, ethnic origin, disability or national origin.
Victims of hate crimes can include institutions, religious organizations and government entities as well as individuals.
Twitter expands crackdown on trolling and hate
The social media giant is expanding its safety mode feature, which allows users to temporarily block accounts that send harmful or abusive tweets.
Half of the platform’s users in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland will now have access.
Users can also now use a related feature called Proactive Security Mode.
This will proactively identify potentially harmful responses and prompt users to consider enabling the mode.
Can Twitter really fight hate speech?
Twitter has been called to account in numerous congressional hearings.
By eschewing the gatekeeper role, Twitter imposed itself as no more responsible for the messages transmitted than the telephone companies were responsible for the conversations flowing over their telephone lines.
There is a huge fear that false or misleading information is conveyed through social media, and the solution is for them to exercise greater editorial control.
For years, social media companies have done relatively little to keep hate speech off their platforms, often accepting racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, sexist comments, screeds and anti-Semitic comments as the cost of doing business.
Calls to block certain kinds of speech on social media have grown in recent months.