Twitter Admits Failure to Protect Users From Online Abusers

In a recent internal memo obtained by The Verge, Twitter CEO Dick Costello admits to failures of the company in preventing and responding to internet trolls. A number of high-profile users have publically quit twitter in the last few months due to unprecedented amounts of online abuse. One such target was Zelda Williams, daughter of Robin Williams, who following her father’s death received mass amounts of taunts.

The full memo reads,

We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years. It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.

I’m frankly ashamed of how poorly we’ve dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO. It’s absurd. There’s no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It’s nobody else’s fault but mine, and it’s embarrassing.

We’re going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them.

Everybody on the leadership team knows this is vital.”

Twitter has made some improvements in the past to their service in order to deal with online harassment. The improvements primarily included ways to simplify flagging tweets and accounts for administrators to review. Quicker response times and the creation of “block lists” have also been a part of past attempts. However, Twitter is still lacking on the user-protection front. Something Costllo clearly sees.

 

Read more here- “Twitter Boss Admits Firm is Failing Victims of Trolling,” (BBC)

 

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Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.

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