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'No one deserves to be the target of abuse online, and it has no place on Twitter'

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey said the issue was “truly one of the most important things for us to improve [in]“.

Comedian Leslie Jones was the target of racist  and abusive tweets earlier this month.
Comedian Leslie Jones was the target of racist and abusive tweets earlier this month.
Image: Rich Fury/AP

TWITTER’S CEO HAS admitted the company does not do enough to help combat abusive tweets on the service.

Jack Dorsey made the comments at Twitter’s earnings call last night saying nobody “deserves to be the target of abuse online, and it has no place on Twitter”.

“We hope, and we recognise it’s a high hope, to elevate civil discourse, and I emphasise civil discourse there,” he said. “Abuse is not part of civil discourse. It shuts down conversation. It prevents us from understanding each other”.

Freedom of expression means little if we allow voices to be silenced because of fear of harassment if they speak up. No one deserves to be the target of abuse online, and it has no place on Twitter.

The most recent high-profile situation involved comedian and Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones who received a barrage of racist and abusive tweets. The incident led to Twitter banning one of the site’s most contentious high-profile members from the service.

“We haven’t been good enough at ensuring that’s the case, and we must do better,” admitted Dorsey. “That means building new technology solutions, making sure our policies and enforcement are consistent, and educating people about both”.

“We’ve made improvements in the first half of the year, and we’re going to make more. We’ve named safety as one of our top five priorities for this year, and recent events have only confirmed that this is truly one of the most important things for us to improve, and has motivated us to improve even faster”.

Square IPO Jack Dorsey Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Source: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Twitter’s problems with abuse have been long documented with many people calling on the service to do more to tackle it. Last year, its former-CEO Dick Costolo admitted in an internal memo that Twitter “sucked” at dealing with abuse and trolls on the service.

While he vowed Twitter would deal with this problem, Dorsey made a reference to those accusing it of censorship or favouring one side or viewpoint, saying it is not a place that will only show “part of what’s happening”.

“This is really, really important to me and to everyone at the company… we are not and never will be a platform that shows people only part of what’s happening or part of what’s being said”, he said.

We are the place for news and social commentary. And at its best, the nature of our platform empowers people to reach across divides, and to build connections, to share ideas and to challenge accepted norms.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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