Twitter is taking strong measures against online bullying and abusive behaviors after CEO Dick Costolo admitted that he is “ashamed” of the company’s response up until now.
In an internal memo, Costolo didn’t pull punches and attributed Twitter’s loss of core users to its inadequate system for reporting harassment:
“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.”
The two biggest obstacles facing Twitter’s support team are creating more efficient reporting tools and keeping abusive individuals off of Twitter. As part of Twitter’s new initiative, users can report other users specifically for doxing, or posting phone numbers, home addresses, or other unauthorized personal information. Additionally, Twitter is beefing up their support teams and reviewing significantly more harassment reports:
“Overall, we now review five times as many user reports as we did previously, and we have tripled the size of the support team focused on handling abuse reports,” wrote Twitter’s vice president of user services Tina Bhatnagar in a blog post.
Also, users who are temporarily banned from Twitter will have to verify their account using an email address and a phone number. By requiring a phone and an e-mail verification, there will be less repeat offenders and “sockpuppet” Twitter accounts. No policy can completely eradicate harassment online, but these changes are way overdue and will go a long way toward getting trolls off of Twitter.
Source: The Guardian