Twitter to 'Improve Policies' After Zelda Williams Bullied

Family members to get more support, site says

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 15, 2014 12:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – Twitter has promised to take a look at its policies after some sickening abuse over her father's death forced Zelda Williams off the site. After she tweeted a touching tribute to her father, the grieving daughter received messages on Twitter and Instagram blaming her for her father's death, as well as images of her father Photoshopped to show bruises around his neck, Forbes reports. "We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter," a Twitter exec said in a statement. "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."

Twitter says the changes will include "expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users." An activist who has worked with Facebook to help protect people facing online abuse says the site needs to do more to tackle persistent abusers. "While I am truly sorry for what the Williams family is experiencing during this time, I am concerned that it takes an event like this to bring heightened attention to a problem that so many face every day," she tells the Washington Post. "As is often the case, it is Williams, the target of abuse, and not her abusers, who's left Twitter," she adds.

Zelda Williams and Robin Williams arrive at the premiere of Old Dogs on Monday Nov. 9, 2009, in Los Angeles.
Zelda Williams and Robin Williams arrive at the premiere of Old Dogs on Monday Nov. 9, 2009, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Katy Winn)
Actor Robin Williams, left, and his daughter, Zelda are seen at the 2011 premiere of  Happy Feet Two in Los Angeles.
Actor Robin Williams, left, and his daughter, Zelda are seen at the 2011 premiere of "Happy Feet Two" in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Katy Winn, File)
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