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Twitter employee learns about social network's harassment problem firsthand

Twitter employee learns about social network's harassment problem firsthand


"Wow people on Twitter are mean"

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There's a lot of reasons why people keep coming back to Twitter, but there's definitely one that pushes everyone away: the plague of ugly harrassment across the platform. It's been an issue for years, and the company started taking steps towards fixing it last year after then-CEO Dick Costolo recognized the epidemic and admitted: "We suck at dealing with abuse." But it seems not every Twitter employee knows about one of the social network's most important issues.

Late last night, Brandon Carpenter wrote a number of tweets in response to nasty replies he received demanding that Twitter not make changes to its social network. Carpenter, according to his LinkedIn profile, is a senior software engineer at Twitter — he works on the iOS app. The abuse appeared to come in response to news that the social network will soon show tweets out of order.

It's terrible any time someone is subjected to harassment, but Carpenter's tweets — "Wow people on Twitter are mean" — suggest unfamiliarity with what should be one of the company's top priorities. If employees aren't keenly familiar with their own product (a complaint frequently leveled at Twitter), then the company should certainly educate them about the realities of the platform.

Of course, this is just a few tweets from one of Twitter's iOS developers, but if the company were truly making abuse a priority, its employees would know all about this issue. Perhaps this shouldn't come as a surprise, then, considering the glacial pace of improvements to Twitter's abuse blocking and reporting tools. Maybe now that one of its own has faced the ugly side of Twitter, the company will fix the issue once and for all.