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

dick-costolo-Twitter
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.

Photography

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Smart Home

I have seen the future, and it’s full of salad-making robots

Think that robots bussing tables, tossing salads and baking bread is a futuristic concept? It's actually not as far away as you might think. Robots took center stage at a food robotics summit in San Francisco this week, where they showed…
Emerging Tech

How MIT hacked horticulture to cultivate a hyper-flavorful basil plant

At MIT, Caleb Harper used his personal food computers to alter the climate in which he grew basil. Exposing it light for 24 hours a day changed the flavor profile of the plant, making it spicier and stronger.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Social Media

LinkedIn: Now you can express love, curiosity, and more with new Reactions

LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of Facebook (three years later!) with the rollout of new reactions that give users more ways to express themselves when responding to posts in their feed.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.
News

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.