Almost three years ago, a feminist activist committed what many not-so-impartial observers apparently see as an unpardonable sin: she was less than polite to a small squad of Men’s Rights activists at a demonstration in Toronto. At least one of these gentlemen caught her outburst on video, and uploaded it to YouTube.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has frankly admitted that his company has done a terrible job of dealing with trolls and abusers. And he’s promised to do better, declaring that Twitter would “start kicking these people off right and left.”
In a remarkably candid note to concerned staffers, obtained and posted online by The Verge, Costolo was blunt about Twitter’s failure to protect its users from harassers:
We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years. It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.
He’s got that right.
Costolo went on to accept personal responsibility for this failure:
So earlier this month the feminist writer and serial-misogynist-annoyer Lindy West announced that she was leaving her job at Jezebel “to work on personal projects. (I am also available for freelance. Hire me!)”
I took this to mean that she was leaving her job at Jezebel to work on personal projects and do freelance work, because this is something that writers, especially talented writers with a lot of options, sometimes do.
Over in the Manosphere, though, the fellas had a rather different interpretation, which went something like this HA HA THE FAT SLUT GOT FIRED HER CAREER IS OVER WE WON YIPPEEEEEEEEE!!!
Or, as the always charming Roosh Valizadeh put it, in a comment on his site’s forums: