Twitter’s penchant for letting trolls and abusers deter otherwise policy-abiding users is widely known, especially in light of the ongoing #gamergate fracas. Hell, just mentioning the hashtag in a tweet — even if it’s the only text in the tweet — will attract the attention of bots or bastards with fingertips at the ready. So it should come as no surprise that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is furious about his (and his company’s) poor track record.
In internal forum posts obtained by The Verge, Costolo goes on the offensive in response to an employee’s submitted question:
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.
Costolo’s frustration is readily apparent in his response. Yet despite the many points made, he didn’t feel that he’d made them clearly enough for his employees. So he submitted a followup comment clarifying his (and the company’s) intentions:
Let me be very very clear about my response here. I take PERSONAL responsibility for our failure to deal with this as a company. I thought i did that in my note, so let me reiterate what I said, which is that I take personal responsibility for this. I specifically said “It’s nobody’s fault but mine”
We HAVE to be able to tell each other the truth, and the truth that everybody in the world knows is that we have not effectively dealt with this problem even remotely to the degree we should have by now, and that’s on me and nobody else. So now we’re going to fix it, and I’m going to take full responsibility for making sure that the people working night and day on this have the resources they need to address the issue, that there are clear lines of responsibility and accountability, and that we don’t equivocate in our decisions and choices.
Hopefully something positive will result from Costolo’s sentiments. Until then, I’m going to enjoy taking random potshots with the #gamergate hashtag while I still can. It’s like enjoying an endangered species out in the wild before it disappears forever.
(Via The Verge)