Hats Off To Twitter CEO For Taking Responsibility For Failing To Deal With Trolls

Dick Costolo claims Twitter 'sucks' at dealing with abuse

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by Jess Commons |

In a super-frank admission, the likes of which we’re not used to seeing from company bigwigs, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has said he’s taking ‘full responsibility’ for the company’s failure to deal with trolls.

The acknowledgement, obtained by The Verge, was made on one of Twitter’s internal forums after trolling became big news again thanks to journalist Lindy West bravely sharing her story about confronting a troll that targeted her and her dead father.

Lindy’s telling of the story on radio show This American Life and subsequent retelling in The Guardian last week, prompted a Twitter employee to take to the company’s internal forums to suggest that Twitter could do more to protect its users. Costolo agreed:

*‘We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years. It’s not a 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,’ *he said.

Does this mean we’re about to see a huge cull of abusive users? What’s to stop banned users from signing up again under a different email address? Either way, getting Twitter on board in the war against trolls is definitely a positive step forward.

If you missed out on Lindy’s story, you can still listen to it below, or read it here.

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Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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