Very, very busy.
Twitter is having a hard time. The company is in desperate need of a swift kick in the pants to help it get moving and fix its troll problem. No, not the gremlin-looking, bejeweled-bellied, fun kind, but the ugly (at least internally), lives-under-a-bridge-kind that only comes out in the light of day to mess with people that he doesn’t know.
As actress Leslie Jones tweeted: “I use [sic] to wonder why some celebs don’t have Twitter accts now I know. You can’t be nice and communicate with fans because people crazy.” People are specifically “crazy” towards women, Muslims, Jews, celebrities, journalists, ethnic minorities (really any person of any color that isn’t white), people with disabilities, sexual orientation minorities. Do you get the picture? These hideous troll creatures are free to run amok in the dark, hostile corner of the internets that is Twitter.
So why is trolling so rampant on the social media platform? Because the company has done almost nothing to curb the online bullying in all the years it has existed. The risk of detection, apprehension or punishment is slim to none; and spikes drastically every time the Donald says something about women, immigrants, etc. Anti-Semitic tweets and abuse have been on the rise in general, and anti-Islamic tweets spike pretty much anytime anything happens in the world (bombings, attacks, Brexit, you name it). Twitter is already hurting for users, and with cyberattacks and even threats against the physical integrity of current users by trolls, many people, especially celebrities, decide to close their account and live in peace with their nine other social media accounts.
Be afraid, be very afraid: Twitter has already lost potential buyers for the platform, and the numbers don’t look good. One of those potential buyers was the Walt Disney Corporation, which, as Bloomberg reported, decided against the purchase because of the platform’s “bullying and hateful communication”.
In July and August, Twitter unveiled a new block feature and other add-ons that were meant to give users more control over who they interact with and what they see on the platform. The abuse persists. Whatever Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey decides to do, he’d better do it quickly because the troll infestation is causing serious, possibly irreparable damage to the company’s user base, and therefore, its bottom line.