Twitter trolls are a problem that need solving



Twitter has said to the BBC that it will "continue to learn" from high profile trolling cases.

The company admits that "new challenges" lie ahead in their bid to keep users safe.

"If you stop learning, you stop providing a good service to your users," said Sinead McSweeney, Twitter's director of public policy for the EMEA region.

Twitter staff process reports from users – made directly from a report button – and then determine the action required.

"They are providing a 24/7 service to our users worldwide," McSweeney said.

She said how Twitter's trust and safety teams in Dublin did "serious work, with potentially grave consequences" and that policies and processes allowed team members to get in touch with a user whose life might be in jeopardy.

Rape threats directed at feminist campaigner and Twitter user Caroline Criado-Perez in 2013 produced calls for the company to crack down on abusive users, with fears that the social network's report/block system was insufficient.

Twitter has admitted that it is unable to keep users away completely, despite the blocking measures in place.

Patricia Cartes, Twitter's global head of online safety, told the BBC that the company will do its best to continually abusive users away.

"We certainly wouldn't want to people whose only purpose it is to abuse others on the platform," she said.

For self-harm cases – a highly sensitive area – she said how Twitter strives to look at cases "within a matter of minutes."

However, due to the sheer number of daily tweets (one billion every two days), "we are neither in a position nor would it be technically possible to proactively moderate or monitor content," she said.

 

Twitter aims to be an open platform, with a philosophy of "educating people", Cartes added.

Social networks like Twitter have also been accused for causing loneliness and replacing face-to-face interaction.

"Because of the nature of the platform and the features we provide, abuse continues to evolve, you never know what you're going to encounter when you come in to work," Cartes concluded.

Image: Carrot Creative, Flickr