According to the Pew Research Center, four in ten Americans have received some form of online harassment, and 75% of Americans have seen some kind of cyberbullying going on. Two-thirds of people who experienced online harassment said that they experienced name calling. Instagram has been making changes to turn the platform into a safer space, such as AI that flags posts that might be offensive. When someone writes a mean comment, the user is asked, "Are you sure you want to post this?" then directed to Instagram's policy on bullying and offensive content.
Twitter can be a remarkable tool.
The ability to instantly send a message to your favorite athlete, a movie star, or even the president of the United States still seems like something out of a sci-fi novel. The platform's ubiquity also means you may even get responses from the famous people you reach out to. That's a good thing, right? As we're learning with each passing day, maybe it's not.
When a science writer tweeted criticism of billionaire Elon Musk, she got a personal response from him — and many of his followers.
Writing for The Daily Beast, Erin Biba recounted what happened when she addressed Musk's recent anti-media tirades and his criticism of nanotechnologist Upulie Divisekera being "100% synonymous with BS" on account of her job title.
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"We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years," said former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo in a leaked 2015 memo.
"It's no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day," he continued. "We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day."
It was a surprising admission about one of the service's biggest flaws. On Twitter, sharing other users' posts as easy as a single touch, but that also creates the opportunity for regular people going about their day on Twitter to wind up the target of harassment from thousands of other users at a moment's notice.