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Twitter law chief: “We’re too slow at tackling trolls”

Twitter’s top lawyer, Vijada Gadde, has made some frank admissions about the site’s failures as research has emerged revealing that 88% of all abuse on social media sites occurs on Twitter.

Gadde admitted that the site has been “inexcusably slow” at dealing with trolling issues and let internet abuse go “unchecked” because it didn’t recognise the scale and scope of the issue – but had now tripled the size of the team that deals with online abuse.

“Our response times have been inexcusably slow and the substance of our responses too meagre. This is, to put it mildly, not good enough.

Freedom of expression means little as our underlying philosophy if we continue to allow voices to be silenced because they are afraid to speak up. We need to do a better job combatting abuse without chilling or silencing speech.”

Vijada Gadde, General Counsel, Twitter

 In an article for the Washington Post, Gadde discussed the changes that Twitter have made in order to address the problems with abuse and trolling – the new staff hired by Twitter have reportedly been responding to five times more abuse complaints than in the past. She also said that the company are making more changes behind the scenes, in “ways that won’t be readily apparent” to most of their 284,000,000 (that’s 284 million!) users.

Only last week, Twitter made headlines as TV personality Sue Perkins announced she was taking a break from the site after receiving a barrage of death threats from Top Gear fans, following speculation that she would replace Jeremy Clarkson as host of the popular series.

What do you think about Twitter’s admission over their trolling problems? Do they need to be doing more to combat the issue? Share your views with us @CybersmileHQ.

If you’re experiencing problems with trolling or digital abuse via Twitter, visit our Twitter help page or email us for support at [email protected].