Twitter plans curbs on 'horrific' abuse
TWITTER is preparing technical measures to curb trolling and abuse, according to its chief executive.
The news comes as police investigate a flurry of racist tweets following penalty misses by Ashley Cole and Ashley Young in England’s defeat at Euro 2012.
Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, spoke of his “frustration” at the “horrifying” problem, according to the FT.
But he insisted the microblogging service would continue to allow anonymous members because it allows people to speak out.
“The reason we want to allow pseudonyms is there are lots of places in the world where it’s the only way you’d be able to speak freely,” he said.
“The flipside of that is it also emboldens these trolls... how do you make sure you are both emboldening people to speak politically but making it okay to be on the platform and not endure all this hate speech?
“It’s very frustrating.”
One approach reportedly under consideration is hiding replies from members who are not considered “authoritative” because their profile contains no biographical information and they have few followers.
The debate over trolling and abuse on Twitter has intensified in recent months. Earlier this year a student was jailed for racially abusing the footballer Fabrice Muamba.
Sofia Escobar, a star of The Phantom of the Opera in the West End was, however, widely criticised for claiming a Twitter member who criticised performance her was a bully. The musicals fan had not directed the criticism at Ms Escobar by including her username in the message, but the performer found it and took offence.
Mr Costolo's comments appear to mark a shift in Twitter's position. It has previously responded to pressure to censor its service with its maxim that "the tweets must flow".