Twitter, what the hell with all the harassment?

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By Ian Sherr

Hey @jack. Can we talk?

This past weekend was the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, when we ask forgiveness for our transgressions and forgive others for theirs.

But this year, I was having an awfully hard time with Twitter.

So I decided to write this open letter to you, Jack Dorsey. I figure Twitter’s CEO and co-founder would be a good place to start.

You’ve been making moves lately that just don’t make sense, and it’s becoming a problem.

I’m not talking about questions of how you’ll turn a profit or convince more people to join today’s 328 million tweeters. And I’m certainly not worried how you’ll stay relevant because, thanks to President Donald Trump, Twitter has that written all over it every day and in headlines all around the world.

I’m talking about decisions that undermine your integrity and ignore what actually matters.

Let’s be frank: You need to deal with harassment. The pervasive, nonstop, everyday, all-encompassing harassment some people have been subjected to on your platform. It’s the hate campaigns, the racism, the intimidation, the deadly assault and the Russian interference in the US election. All of it.

Reality is coming down hard on social networking, and no one seems more publicly oblivious than you.

When Twitter met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week, those problems were on full display — though, not to the rest of us, since testimony was behind closed doors.

One senator, Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia, said the meeting was “deeply disappointing” and “showed [an] enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is, the threat it poses to democratic institutions, and again begs many more questions than they offered.”

Ouch.

Since you rarely say much about harassment, and the company declined to make you available for an interview, I’m going to go ahead and ask my seven questions here instead.

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