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On Twitter, Hate Speech Bounded Only by a Character Limit

Stashed in: Twitter!, Awesome, Haters!, Bullies, Trolling!, Backchannel

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”Twitter is seeking a buyer at a time of slowing subscriber growth (it hovers above the 300 million mark) and “decreasing user engagement,” as Jason Helfstein, the head of internet research at Oppenheimer & Company, put it when he downgraded the stock in a report last week.

There’s a host of possible reasons for this, including new competition, failure to adapt to fast-changing media habits and an “open mike” quality that some potential users may find intimidating.

But you have to wonder whether the cap on Twitter’s growth is tied more to that most basic — and base — of human emotions: hatred.

It courses through Twitter at an alarming rate, turbocharged by this year’s political campaigns and the rise of anti-immigration movements that dabble in racist, sexist and anti-Semitic tropes across the globe. And this is to say nothing of its use by terrorist recruiters.

It’s a lamentable turn that Twitter says it is urgently working to address."

Three years after the company resolved to curb harassment, the trolls are still winning.

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