Twitter CEO Dick Costolo: ‘We Suck at Dealing With Abuse’

About time

Tonight we’re getting news of a fascinating statement from Twitter’s CEO: ‘We Suck at Dealing With Abuse’.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is taking personal responsibility for his platform’s chronic problems with harassment and abuse, telling employees that he is embarrassed for the company’s failures and would soon be taking stronger action to eliminate trolls. He said problems with trolls are driving away the company’s users. “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” Costolo wrote in an internal memo obtained by The Verge. “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.”

“IT’S NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE.”

Costolo’s comments came in response to a question on an internal forum about a recent story by Lindy West, a frequent target of harassment on Twitter. Among other things, West’s tormentors created a Twitter account for her then recently-deceased father and made cruel comments about her on the service; West recently shared her story on This American Life and the Guardian. On Twitter’s forums, an employee asked whether anything could be done:

On Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 4:37 PM, Adrian Cole wrote:

A must read in its own right about cyberbullying. One section suggests Twitter can just do more.

“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.”

In response, Costolo made a frank acknowledgement of Twitter’s slowness to adopt tools to combat trolls.

On Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 8:35 PM, Dick Costolo wrote:

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. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.

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.

Everybody on the leadership team knows this is vital.

@dickc

I hope this isn’t just a PR statement, and that it leads to a real commitment to putting a stop to the outrageous harassment Twitter has been enabling and tolerating for years. The worst of it is directed at women; they’re the targets of unbelievably misogynistic stalking on Twitter. But it’s not just women; people who follow me on Twitter are no doubt aware that there is a sizable group of right wing lunatics who have been stalking and harassing me and my followers ever since I opened my account years ago.

It’s time for Twitter to step up and deal with this huge problem.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Back to the Moon NASA announces the first partnership of its kind with MAXAR Technologies to power the future lunar orbiting station.For more information, visit: nasa.govNews release: go.nasa.gov Credit: NASAMusic: “One Big Step” through premiumbeat.com This video is available for download from NASA's ...
Thanos
23 hours, 19 minutes ago
Views: 164 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
One High School in North Philly and Nam Thomas Alva Edison High School Philly. It stood at 8th Street and Lehigh Avenue in North Philly. It sat in the neighborhood of Fairhill, which later went on to be Heroin Central, the infamous Badlands of North Philly, until ...
Mescalero
1 day, 12 hours ago
Views: 213 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
More Than 70 Years After the Holocaust, Victims Are Laid to Rest in Belarus More than 1,000 victims of the Holocaust were buried Wednesday in Belarus, some 70 years after they were killed in the genocide. Their bones were unearthed this winter by construction workers as they began to build luxury apartments in ...
Thanos
3 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 290 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Orville Peck - ‘Turn to Hate’ (Live at WFUV)wfuv.org • Follow @wfuv: ow.ly Orville Peck performs "Turn To Hate" live in Studio A. Recorded 4/26/19. Host: Russ BorrisAudio: Jim O'HaraCameras: Nora Doyle, Dan Tuozzoli, Brian Gallagher and Michael L'AbbbateEditor: Nora Doyle and Dan Tuozzoli
Thanos
5 days, 22 hours ago
Views: 507 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 4 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Vampire Weekend - This Life (Official Video)Father of the Bride available now: smarturl.it #VampireWeekend #FatherOfTheBride
Thanos
5 days, 22 hours ago
Views: 513 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Molly Tuttle at Paste Studio NYC Live From the Manhattan Center1. Take the Journey 0:232. Messed With My Mind 6:393. Sleepwalking 12:214. Light Came In (Power Went Out) 18:11 Watch Molly Tuttle live at Paste Studio NYC! More sessions and interviews here: pastemagazine.com Audio: Bob MalloryVideo: Brad Wagner
Thanos
5 days, 22 hours ago
Views: 491 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Raconteurs - ‘Help Me Stranger’ (Official Music Video) Music video for The Raconteurs new single “Help Me Stranger” from their forthcoming album HELP US STRANGER – out June 21st. Pre-order & pre-save HELP US STRANGER here: theraconteurs.lnk.to Director: Yasuhiko ShimizuDirector of Photography: Shunya AraiProducer: Takashi SugaiStylist: Tomohiko ...
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 570 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
‘The Maldives Mystery’ Resolved This is a response to the Academic Agent's "Climate Change -- The Maldives Mystery." I am currently on assignment and won't be able to list sources for at least another week. My apologies for the delay. This is also ...
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 542 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Lil Nas X - Old Town Road (Official Movie) Ft. Billy Ray Cyrus Official video for Lil Nas X’s Billboard #1 hit, “Old Town Road (Remix)” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. Special guest appearances from Chris Rock, Haha Davis, Rico Nasty, Diplo, Jozzy, Young Kio, and Vince Staples. Listen & Download “Old Town ...
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 623 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Down on the PromenadeProvided to YouTube by CDBaby Down On the Promenade · Marc Monroe Copasetic ℗ 2013 Mark Kelton Released on: 2013-04-23 Auto-generated by YouTube.
Thanos
1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 771 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0