Wednesday 13 February 2019 12:15 pm

Twitter boss Jack Dorsey admits ‘huge fail’ in not preventing online abuse

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey has said that tech firms such as his own have not done enough to protect victims of online abuse.

In a conversation with Recode, Dorsey awarded Twitter a 'C' grade for its past efforts, and labelled the current climate a "huge fail" on the part of Silicon Valley.

He added that Twitter has placed "the majority of [the] burden on victims" to date, which in turn has become the platform's highest priority to fix.

Read more: MPs look to grill Clegg over social media abuse

The admission comes after Facebook's global policy chief and former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg was asked to appear in front of a parliamentary committee last week, answering questions about the harassment of MPs on social media.

Digital minister Margot James has said the government’s upcoming white paper on online harm will set out new laws to ensure social media sites remove illegal content and prioritise the protection of their users.

Dorsey said today that he disliked Twitter's current system which tends to reward outrage and short-term reactions, and recognised that the firm's internal lack of diversity has also contributed to the problem.

Read more: Twitter shares slide as company dubbed 'Harvey Weinstein of Social Media'

He named Twitter's work against "automations and coordinated campaigns" of disinformation and abuse as the single biggest improvement on the platform since the 2016 US presidential election, which is known to have suffered interference from Russia and other bad actors.

In future, Dorsey hopes goverments and other platforms will coordinate efforts to combat the spread of fake news and attempts to sway voters in elections. Facebook, which was also targeted during the EU referendum, has stepped up activities on this matter with promises to be more transparent about political advertising.