This Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, file photo shows a Twitter app on an iPhone screen, in New York. Twitter reports quarterly financial results on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
This Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, file photo shows a Twitter app on an iPhone screen, in New York. Twitter reports quarterly financial results on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
This Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, file photo shows a Twitter app on an iPhone screen, in New York. Twitter reports quarterly financial results on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Christian Science Monitor) – It’s no secret that Twitter can be a platform where pretty nasty abuse is dished out.

Last year’s Gamergate tempest, which began, ostensibly, as a call for “ethics in video game journalism” but descended into a witchhunt across social media, showed that Twitter is often slow to respond to abusive or threatening messages sent across its network.

Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo put it bluntly: “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years,” he wrote in a company memo obtained by tech site The Verge.

Mr. Costolo noted that harassment and trolling – deliberately trying to offend someone online in order to provoke an angry response – are driving users away from Twitter.

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