Chris Ratcliffe—Bloomberg/Getty Images
By Alex Fitzpatrick
August 18, 2016

Trolls, as Joel Stein writes in TIME’s cover story this week, are taking over the Internet. One of the social networks most affected is Twitter, which critics say isn’t doing enough to curb abuse, racism and hate speech on the platform. Some see the problem as an existential crisis for the firm, as high-profile users flee while user growth, a closely-watched metric for social media companies, is stalls.

The San Francisco, Calif.-based company has not always been forthcoming about its efforts to prevent or respond to abuse. In response to a recent BuzzFeed story on the subject, a Twitter spokesperson said “there is a lot of work to do but please know we are committed, focused, and will have updates to share soon.”

However, Stein spoke with Del Harvey, Twitter’s Vice President of Trust and Safety, who offered some insight into the company’s thinking. Here’s what Harvey had to say:

Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Del Harvey, struggles with how to allow criticism but curb abuse. “Categorically to say that all content you don’t like receiving is harassment would be such a broad brush it wouldn’t leave us much content,” she says. Harvey is not her real name, which she gave up long ago when she became a professional troll, posing as underage girls (and occasionally boys) to entrap pedophiles as an administrator for the website Perverted-Justice and later for NBC’s To Catch a Predator. Citing the role of Twitter during the Arab Spring, she says that anonymity has given voice to the oppressed, but that women and minorities are more vulnerable to attacks by the anonymous.

Read the full story here.


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