The Role APIs Can Play When It Comes To Online Trolling

There is an interesting story about Twitter trolling over at Yahoo News from, which includes recommendations from Adria Richards (@adriarichards) for using the Twitter API to crack down on trolling, based upon her own experiences. Here is the specific API mention from the story:

Richards has shared her own recommendations for Twitter to clamp down on trolling, which include making trending harassment patterns available via the application programming interface (API) and allowing users to subscribe to blacklists to exclude words from their timelines.

I think APIs can playing a larger roll when it comes to online trolling, but we’ll need someone to step-up and own the topic, working with Twitter, and other social networks to expose the right APIs, and give more control to end-users. Then also help encourage the development of open tooling on top APIs, that help users manage their online profiles, manage filter settings, manage black and white lists, and other key features.

I'll continue to consider the potential of anti-trolling APIs, alongside other account, security, and privacy considerations, and see if we can start identifying some potential API patterns and approaches that can be re-used across the space.