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Twitter responds to BuzzFeed harassment story by covering its ears

Twitter responds to BuzzFeed harassment story by covering its ears

Twitter says it’s working on it.

The social network, loved for empowering millions and hated for enabling abusers, “will have updates to share soon.” Because it’s working on it.

The network’s cohort of petulant trolls, seeming endless in supply, have nearly hijacked Twitter’s entire narrative, with a string of high-profile cases culminating to a blow-by-blow chronicle of the company’s chronic fuck-ups published today by BuzzFeed.

And so Twitter announced: “We are going to continue our work on making Twitter a safer place.”

They’re working on it.

The company has said so before. In 2013In 2015. Last month. And, again, today:

In response to today’s BuzzFeed story on safety, we were contacted just last night for comment and obviously had not seen any part of the story until we read it today. We feel there are inaccuracies in the details and unfair portrayals but rather than go back and forth with BuzzFeed, we are going to continue our work on making Twitter a safer place. There is a lot of work to do but please know we are committed, focused, and will have updates to share soon.

The response, designed to cast doubt on the report while not really commenting on it at all, misses the point.

If Twitter was so busy solving harassment that it couldn’t bear to waste time responding to a damning story about its own incompetence, it would have made headway in solving its problem by now — or at least gone public with a plan, or even a pledge for transparency.

Instead, Twitter opaquely states it “will have updates to share soon”; “please know” it’s “committed” and “focused.”

They’re working on it.

With that we’re left no more reassured than we were last month, last year, or three years ago, when the company first tossed targets of harassment a bread crumb. The company may as well have covered its ears and heard nothing at all.

But no, everything’s fine. Twitter’s working on it.

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