Twitter CEO Admits: 'We Suck at Dealing with Abuse and Trolls'

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo didn’t mince words in discussing the company’s failure to address the rampant abuse, bullying and trolling that happens on the platform. In a leaked memo obtained by The Verge, Costolo is frank about what a poor job Twitter has done at stopping cyber harassment. Costolo writes:


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.

Costolo then goes on to imply changes are afoot, and that trolls and other harassers will finally get what’s coming to them: banishment.

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.

Costolo’s words come on the heels of #Gamergate, and recent reporting on the incredibly racist tweets women of color often receive. A little over a week ago, frequent troll target Anita Sarkeesian, via her blog, “Feminist Frequency,” shared a sampler of the hateful tweets she received in a seven-day period. There were more than 150 abusive threats, which you can see for yourself, here. (A warning that the language is often graphic and violent.)

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