Inside Twitter’s 10-Year Failure To Stop Harassment

Charlie Warzel, Buzzfeed News, Aug 12, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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Ironically posted on Buzzfeed, this article asserts that "for nearly its entire existence, Twitter has not just tolerated abuse and hate speech, it’s virtually been optimized to accommodate it." Now, writes Charlie Warzel, "With public backlash at an all-time high and growth stagnating, what is the platform that declared itself 'the free speech wing of the free speech party' to do?" It's a good question. Though described as a social networking platform, Twitter is in reality a publishing platform (albeit of very short articles). Moreover, there's no real distinction between 'friend' and 'abusive stranger' on Twitter, which means your harassers can target both you and all your followers. “The original sin is a homogenous leadership,” one former senior employee told BuzzFeed News. “This is part of what exacerbated the abuse problem for sure." Language warning, because Buzzfeed.

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