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Twitter CEO Admits Trolls Are a Problem, Will Start Booting Them

by Todd Haselton | February 5, 2015February 5, 2015 10:00 pm PDT

trolls

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo recently admitted, in an internal letter obtained by The Verge, that his company has not dealt with trolls appropriately on the service. “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” he said in a memo. “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 a big obstacle for Twitter, which is trying to attract new users to the service by rolling out features such as implementation with Google search and a revised homepage that doesn’t require an account to view content. Still, trolls, the folks who take pride in angering people online without any real reason to do so, have hurt Twitter’s user base in a real way, Costolo’s comments suggest. “I’m frankly ashamed of how poorly we’ve dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO,” Costolo said in the memo, which replied to one employee expressing concern with trolling. “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.”

Costolo said that Twitter is going to implement a way to start removing trolls from the service in the future. “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.” Costolo said the entire leadership will be alerted to how “vital” this attack on trolls will be.

Twitter’s earnings will hit today after the closing bell, where we’ll learn about its monthly active users both online and on mobile, and whether or not it’s seeing growth. This may be one way to stop users from fleeing, if that turns out to be a problem. The full memos, including several follow-ups from Costolo, can be found on The Verge, which is linked in the source below.

The Verge

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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