You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: ‘We Need to Do Better’ at Curbing User-Targeted Abuse

Exec's acknowledgement of need to improve comes after Leslie Jones was deluged with racist tweets

Twitter chief Jack Dorsey acknowledged that the company’s efforts in cracking down on hateful and abusive attacks on the social service haven’t gone far enough.

“No one deserves to be the target of abuse on Twitter,” he said on a conference call with investors Tuesday. “We haven’t been good enough at ensuring that’s the case, and we need to do better.”

At the same time, Dorsey insisted that Twitter is not censoring speech: “We are not, and never will be, a platform that shows people only part of what’s happening.” However, he said, “Abuse is not civil discourse.”

According to Dorsey, at the start of the year Twitter identified safety as its No. 1 priority, and “recent events have only confirmed” the importance of that focus.

Among one of the highest-profile incidents recently, actress Leslie Jones was the target of numerous racist comments on Twitter, prompting the “Saturday Night Live” cast member and “Ghostbusters” co-star to announce she was leaving the service. Dorsey personally intervened and met with Jones, and Twitter subsequently banned conservative columnist Milo Yiannopoulos and other accounts over the attacks; Jones has since resumed tweeting.

In announcing its second-quarter 2016 results, Twitter cited several steps it has taken recently to improve safety on the service. The company says it has improved the ability to block other users, and launched a comment-moderation system on Periscope that allows viewers on a broadcast to report and vote in real-time on comments that they consider to be spam or abuse.

The problem of Twitter trolls is a big business concern for the company, which has struggled to grow its user base. If celebrities like Leslie Jones, who currently has 348,000 followers on the service, are driven away by obnoxious or threatening behavior, that diminishes Twitter’s value.

“We, along with the broader industry, have a lot more work to do in this area, but we’re committed to continuing to develop tools that will help keep Twitter, Periscope and Vine safe and open for people to connect in real time,” Twitter said in a statement. “We do this work together with the strong communities and partners that exist across all of our products.”

Investors were disappointed with Twitter’s Q2 results and weak outlook for the third quarter, pushing shares down more than 11% in after-hours trading.

More Digital

  • Hulu With Live TV Full Channel

    Hulu Hikes Price of Live-TV Bundle to $45 Monthly, Drops VOD Plan With Ads to $6

    Hulu wants to drive more customers to its ad-supported streaming package — lowering the official price from $7.99 to $5.99 per month — while it’s trying to turn a profit on the live-TV bundle with a price hike. Starting next month, Hulu With Live TV will increase by $5 per month, rising from $39.99 to [...]

  • patreon logo

    Patreon Now Has Over 3 Million Patrons, Expects to Pay $500M to Creators in 2019

    Membership services platform Patreon now has more than 3 million patrons who pay to support any of its over 100,000 creators every month, the company announced Wednesday. It’s also on track to pay more than $0.5 billion to creators this year. Patreon’s business is growing at a healthy rate. Payouts have been nearly doubling year-over-year [...]

  • YouTube TV

    YouTube TV Expanding to Cover Entire U.S., No International Launch Plans Right Now

    Soon, virtually anyone in the U.S. will be able to subscribe to YouTube TV, Google’s $40 monthly over-the-top internet television service aimed at cord-cutters. First launched in five cities in April 2016, YouTube TV has been available in the top 100 markets in the U.S., covering around 85% of households, for about a year. Starting [...]

  • BTF Media, Vince Gerardis Pact Sign

    NATPE: BTF Media, Vince Gerardis Pact for Six Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI — BTF Media, producer of breakout series “Hasta Que te Conocí” and “El Secreto de Selena,” is teaming with Vince Gerardis, a co-executive producer with George Martin on “Game of Thrones,” on a six-project co-production alliance. Spearheaded at BTF Media by founder-partner Ricardo Coeto, the agreement takes in the development and co-production of the [...]

  • Bob Bakish Variety Cover Story

    Viacom Has Acquired Pluto TV Streaming Service for $340 Million

    Viacom has acquired Los Angeles-based video streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million in cash, both companies confirmed Tuesday. “Today marks an important step forward in Viacom’s evolution, as we work to move both our company and the industry forward,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish in a statement. “Pluto TV’s unique and market-leading product, combined [...]

  • Bob PittmanVariety Entertainment Summit at CES,

    iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Plan Approved, CEO Bob Pittman's Contract Renewed

    A U.S. court has approved the bankruptcy plan of iHeartMedia, the biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S., which will shave down its crushing debt load and separate iHeartMedia from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The company said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO, have extended their contracts by four years. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content