Sure, Twitter has once again said sorry for its "mistake." But it's still making a lot of mistakes, and claims that it "carefully" reviewed the reports seem dishonest and hollow. "Twitter Rules are a living document and we're continually looking for ways to improve them," a Twitter spokesperson told Engadget. "Just last month we announced renewed policy efforts as part of our overall company mission to improve the health of public discourse on our site. Our aim is to balance freedom of expression with addressing behavior designed to intimidate, harass, threaten, or use fear to silence the voices of others."
The worst part is that these are not isolated incidents. In September, Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Arizona senator John McCain, was targeted by left-wing trolls who doctored an image of her as she stood in front of her father's casket to include a gun aimed at her. "We were slow to act, the tweet was up for five hours but it was way too long," Dorsey said in a hearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that same month. "Our current model works to remove content based on [user reports], but we don't believe we should put the burden of reporting content on the victim. We need to build algorithms that can recognize these issues before a human can."
Of course, there was also the case of the Huffington Post reporter who was bombarded with threats on Twitter after he uncovered the identity of an individual running a controversial account that was tweeting left-wing propaganda. And then there was actress Leslie Jones, who suffered racial abuse and threats on Twitter, an online attack that was spearheaded by former Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos. "Twitter I understand you got free speech I get it," she tweeted then. "But there has to be some guidelines when you let spread like that."
It's no surprise, then, that she and other celebrities have been driven off Twitter by the behavior of certain users. The toxicity isn't only caused by politics, though that's obviously a major part of the problem, and Twitter needs to get better at reviewing reports it receives for threats, hate speech and other types of abuse. Most important, it needs to start being held accountable for its errors -- because saying "sorry" just isn't cutting it.