Twitter CEO admits failure at stopping trolls

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In a leaked memo on Twitter’s failure to address abuse and trolling on the social media platform, the company’s CEO Dick Costolo blames himself, reports UK periodical The Guardian. 

Twitter continues to be a social media platform to engage strangers as well as friends about certain issues, subjects, and everyday life. However, trolls have used it to abuse users, going as far as making death threats to some.

The platform has witnessed rising harassment against women in recent years, including Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Rebecca Adlington and feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian.

In the memo obtained by The Verge on Thursday, Costolo wrote, “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.”

“I’m aware that Twitter is well within its rights to let its platform be used as a vehicle for sexist and racist harassment. But, as a private company – just like a comedian mulling over a rape joke, or a troll looking for a target for his anger – it could choose not to. As a collective of human beings, it could choose to be better,” he continued.

Later on, he responded to a thread on an internal forum, stating, “Let me be very very clear about my response here. I take personal responsibility for our failure to deal with this as a company. I thought I did that in my note, so let me reiterate what I said, which is that I take personal responsibility for this. I specifically said: ‘It’s nobody’s fault but mine.’”

Costolo assured employees that Twitter was taking action against such abuse, stating, “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, that there are clear lines of responsibility and accountability, and that we don’t equivocate in our decisions and choices.”