Cyberbullying. There’s a new headline about it just about every day. It’s a constant problem online, and a challenge for parents who want their kids to be able to surf safely. But, it turns out, it’s an issue for adults too.
All too often, the issue becomes less about bullying and more about harassment. One errant social media comment – or one perceived by some as errant – can evolve into a barrage from total strangers that can last for days.
That less than stellar reputation led Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to consider ways he could make the company better in 2017. Likely knowing full well what he would hear, Dorsey asked his nearly four million Twitter followers to let him know what the company should work on in the coming year.
Some asked for the ability to edit tweets once they’ve been sent. (they’re thinking about it). There were a few more suggestions … then it came … the big one: “do something about the harassment.”
Looking back, nary a week went by without some story of someone being harassed on social media, often on Twitter. Actors, journalists, musicians, politicians and middle school girls all received torrents of hate and rage through the social platform.
Dorsey responded that the company was looking at ways to tweak its policies and protocols with regard to harassment. Users replied by asking the CEO to be more “transparent” about the company’s standards and procedures related to dealing with this issue.
It was clear from many of the responses that a key factor in the public’s frustration with this issue stems from the changing and often vague way Twitter deals with harassment to why there doesn’t appear to be any kind of unilateral treatment.
This is clearly an issue Twitter will have to address, but the company has some bigger fish to fry first. Number one on the agenda, fix whatever is motivating top talent to jump ship. Six top execs left in 2016, and the company is struggling to find a footing outside of the eponymous social platform. If users give up on that, due to inaction on harassment or just because something better comes along, Twitter will be left with a bag of What’s Wrong that they never really tried to address.
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