Twitter CEO Admits Company “Sucks” At Dealing With Cyberbullies
So it’s not just the homepage changing for Twitter: Twitter’s chief executive Dick Costolo has finally admitted that the company “sucks” when it comes to dealing with cyber bullying and trolling on the social networking platform.
In a memo to the staff, which was leaked on The Verge, he said that bullying behaviour on the network was driving users away.
On Monday, Dick Costolo wrote to his staff:
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.
A series of high-profile users have quit Twitter in recent months, citing online abuse:
- Zelda Williams, daughter of actor Robin Williams deleted her Twitter account for good, following taunts about her father’s suicide.
- Screenwriter Jane Goldman deleted her account following abuse of her family.
- Sara Payne, whose daughter was abducted and murdered in 2000, said she was leaving the platform after years of online harassment.
His words resonate with a blog post late last year by Twitter, where it said that it “was nowhere near being done making changes in this area.” The social networking site promised to introduce more ways to aid users in reporting abusive accounts.
Dealing with trolls on the platform:
- You can now flag abusive tweets – this manual by the company offers advice on how you can now report abusive posts.
- You could ignore the post – as by responding, you are “feeding the troll.”
- Some people have suggested an option to not show accounts less than 30 days old, as trolls usually make new accounts frequently.
Twitter’s confession about how it deals with online abuse comes ahead of rumors that it is about to sign a deal with Google to make its 140-character updates more searchable on Google. The deal will be confirmed during Twitter’s release of its Q4 earnings for 2014.
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