Twitter “Sucks at Dealing With Abuse,” According to CEO

/ 3 years ago


A leaked memo reveals that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo recognises the company’s failure to deal with abuse on the social media platform, and that he takes full responsibility for it.

Costolo’s memo, dated 2nd February 2015, reads:

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.


Costolo issued another memo the following day, reaffirming his position on the matter:

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”

We HAVE to be able to tell each other the truth, and the truth that everybody in the world knows is that 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. 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.


Twitter is suffering an abuse problem, with most of the threats and harassment directed toward women. Last week, video game critic Anita Sarkeesian, producer and host of webseries Feminist Frequencyposted a week’s worth of abuse she received over Twitter to her blog; it makes for a harrowing read. Add a laborious reporting system, and it’s easy to understand why so many people are concerned about the matter.

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Twitter has declined to comment on the leaked memo.

Source: The Verge

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