(PCMag): Twitter CEO Goes Troll Hunting

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo says he's going to do something about the abusive trolls plaguing the social network.

It's getting pretty bad on Twitter regarding the Trolls and abusive behavior in general. It's the same old story: Boy likes Girl, Boy flirts with girl on Twitter, Girl not interested, Boy confused and angry, Girl tries smoothing it over, Boy gets more angry and dedicates himself to destroying/tarnishing Girl's Online Reputation and Local (school, work, etc...) reputation... If I had a nickel...

I jest but it is a serious issue and can be considered "Bullying" on most states. The fact that you're "Online" is no longer a mask of anonymity in the real world and there are real ramifications for anyone who gets caught; interestingly, it appears that most online Troll are getting banned and shut down more and more frequently these days. This is a good thing.

Having Step-daughters (freshly teenagers) who are on Social Media I am constantly checking on them, as is their Mother, to not only see what they are saying but also see if anything is trending locally about them or their friends.

It's a lot of work to do the responsible thing while still giving children the freedom to make mistakes and learn the ropes of online social interaction.

I wonder how many readers go to the same lengths as we do to check up on our kids online activity... I would hope that it is the majority however, more and more news stories keep popping up about school and online bullying of children so I wonder if parents are doing anything at all to check up on their kids. Everyone deserves to have their own opinion and everyone's opinions are valid (mostly. There must be a margin of error, right?).


Twitter CEO Dick Costolo says he's going to do something about the abusive trolls plaguing the social network.

In a private memo obtained by The Verge, Costolo took full responsibility for the problem.

"We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years," wrote Costolo. "I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It's nobody else's fault but mine, and it's embarrassing."

Twitter makes a big deal of how the service frequently finds itself at the center of revolutions or world-changing events, such as the Arab Spring. However, it's also been at the center of some less aspirational moments. Last year, Robin Williams' daughter Zelda received so much abuse after his death that she quit Twitter. In 2014, we also saw women being driven from their homes in the wake ofGamerGate, which wasn't about ethics in video games journalism, but was about using social networks like Twitter to terrorize women.

We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” wrote Costolo. “I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It’s nobody else’s fault but mine, and it’s embarrassing.
— Dick Costolo, CEO Twitter

This negative attention, and the concerns over users quitting the service out of frustration, prompted Twitter to improve its abuse reporting system late last year. That's a good start, but it's clear from Costolo's comments that he wants to do more. What form that will take, we don't know--though perhaps Twitter's fourth quarter earnings call this evening will shed further light on the topic. While Twitter's CEO talked a big game in these internal memos, he has yet to make a public statement about the issue.

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