In a bid to crack down on abusive behaviour, Twitter has broadened its policy and launched a feature that will lock users’ accounts if they violate the rules.

The social networking site has unveiled two new changes as part of their plans to beef up protection against threatening behaviour.

Firstly, the social media site’s violent threats policy has been broadened.

The policy used to be limited to “direct, specific threats of violence against others”, but now includes “threats of violence against others or promot[ing] violence against others”.

The change was announced in a blog post, which stated that the previous description was “unduly narrow”, and meant the site was unable to act in the case of certain kinds of harassment.

Plus, a new enforcement option has been introduced, meaning that users’ accounts can be locked if they send abusive messages.

After a specified time, the user may then be asked to provide a phone number to associate with their account (flagging up if someone is creating multiple “trolling” accounts with the sole purpose of hurling abuse) or to delete nasty tweets, before their account is unlocked.

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