Twitter: "We suck at dealing with abuse"
Internal memo breaks news that won't surprise any victims of harrassment
Given the recent spate of hideous social media attacks perpetrated in the name of GamerGate, it'll come as a surprise to no one that Twitter's CEO Dick Costolo has admitted in an internal memo that the platform has no effective way of dealing with those responsible.
"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," he said in the missive, seen by The Verge.
"We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day."
"We're going to start kicking these people off right and left"
He also suggested the company would be taking a harder stance on "trolls" in the future, banning them from the service. Twitter accounts can be terminated currently if they issue threats of violence, impersonate people or reveal personal information (known as doxxing) but these rules have been largely ineffective so far, as banned users are simply able to go and set up a new Twitter identity.
"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."
Twitter has been used by a weapon against many in the games industry, most recently Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu.
Here's what my life on Twitter has become since I started critiquing games. There are dozens like this from this week pic.twitter.com/QnxnMxBREy— Feminist Frequency (@femfreq) January 24, 2015
While Twitter takes its time figuring out how to combat abuse and threats, Zoe Quinn and Alex Lifschitz have founded Crash Override, an online support network for victims of harassment, doxxing and other forms of abuse.