Buzzfeed this week published a long-form article suggesting that Twitter’s microblogging platform has not just tolerated hate speech, but has been “virtually optimized to accommodate it.”
The article comes at a time of difficulty for Twitter, whose user growth has slowed dramatically and whose revenues have stagnated. According to BuzzFeed, Twitter is “ill-equipped to handle harassment” thanks to a platform which “makes moderation difficult and trolling almost effortless.”
Unlike Facebook and Instagram, which have always banned content and have never positioned themselves as platforms for free speech, Twitter has made an ideology out of protecting its most objectionable users. That ethos also made it a beacon for the internet’s most vitriolic personalities.
In response, Twitter issued a brief statement on its blog.
“We were contacted just last night for comment and obviously had not seen any part of the story until we read it today,” the statement reads. “We feel there are inaccuracies in the details and unfair portrayals but rather than go back and forth with BuzzFeed, we are going to continue our work on making Twitter a safer place.”
“There is a lot of work to do but please know we are committed, focused, and will have updates to share soon,” Twitter concluded.