Twitter CEO takes ‘full responsibility’ for site’s troll problem

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It looks as if the issue of Twitter trolls is really getting to Dick Costolo.

In comments apparently made by the Twitter boss just a few days ago, Costolo repeatedly took responsibility for the continuing problem, adding that the company “sucks at dealing with abuse” on the platform and pretty much always has done.

The surprisingly blunt comments were reportedly made by the CEO of the social media company in various internal communications obtained by The Verge.

Costolo appeared keen to take personal responsibility for not being more forthright in dealing with the ongoing issue, one that he admits is causing users to quit the service.

‘We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls.’

“We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” Costolo wrote in one memo sent on Monday, adding, “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.”

In the same message, Costolo said he was “frankly ashamed of how poorly we’ve dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO.”

He continued, “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.”

‘It’s nobody else’s fault but mine, and it’s embarrassing.’

He promised that more robust efforts will be made to start ridding Twitter of trolls, or, at the least, ensure that “when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them.”

The CEO’s comments came in response to a question from an employee asking what action the company could take to help people like writer Lindy West, who recently penned a piece for the Guardian about her experiences of abuse while using various social media sites.

In a follow-up memo sent Tuesday, Costolo said again that he took “personal responsibility” for the company’s failure to deal with abuse on the service.

“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,” Costolo wrote. “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.”

The social media company, which has been fretting over slowing user growth in the last year, has been increasingly troubled by troll-related issues, with a string of stories making the news regarding sometimes vicious personal attacks on a number of users.

Following criticism that the company was doing little to improve the situation, Twitter rolled out a number of tools, though Costolo’s plainspoken comments show that he feels the situation is still far from under control.

The CEO’s comments may, however, provide some hope for users plagued by abuse on the microblogging site, as they suggest the boss himself is about to push for some significant changes in tackling the damaging issue.

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