Eva Galperin proposes a way to deal with Twitter trolls: “contextual, nuanced examination of complaints”. This is ad odds with the current approach propagated by Twitter CEO Dick Costolo: “We’re going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them.”
Galperin explains: “… abuse teams will need to understand the context from which their users speak.Research in the United States shows that women, African-American, and Hispanic users report disproportionate levels of harassment. The pattern that certain groups—ethnic, economic, political or gendered—receive higher levels of abuse online looks to hold true globally. Companies like Twitter have already publicly recognized the importance of diversity in their workplace. Diversity in their abuse team could be useful in providing necessary context to understand and react correctly to harassment reports. Before that happens, mistakes are going to be made—and we worry that mistakes will disproportionately affect those targeted groups.”
She concludes: “Solutions that empower users rather than solutions that seek to bury the platform’s problem by swiftly ejecting and silencing users, are in the long term more scaleable, and less arbitrary.”

Advertisements