Twitter 'sucks' at dealing with trolls, says site's boss

Dick Costolo said his company, Twitter, "sucks" at dealing with abusers. Credit: Reuters

Watch ITV News' correspondent Nina Nannar's report:

Twitter's chief executive has said he is "frankly ashamed" about the way the company has handled trolls on the website, as he vowed new action to tackle them.

In an internal memo seen by technology website The Verge, Dick Costolo said he blamed himself for the company's failure to be "more aggressive" in tackling trolls, which was losing the company "core user after core user".

He wrote: "I'm going to take full responsibility for making sure that the people working night and day on this have the resources they need to address the issue, that there are clear lines of responsibility and accountability, and that we don't equivocate in our decisions and choices."

The comments came on an internal forum among the company's employee, and followed a question from another member of staff over what could be done to tackle abuse on the site.

Recently, writer Lindy West wrote in the Guardian about confronting a Twitter troll who had created a profile using a picture of her dead father to regularly abuse her.

Robin Williams's daughter Zelda Williams also left the platform last year after being sent disturbing images in the wake of her own father's death.

British journalist Caroline Criado-Perez received rape threats after voicing support for a campaign to introduce Jane Austen as the new face of the £10 note. Two uses were later jailed for sending the messages.

Today, Criado-Perez wrote on Twitter to agree with Costolo's assessment that the platform "sucks" at dealing with abuse, but added "good to see an acknowledgement".

In December, Twitter made it easier for people to report abuse on the site, and it has said that more reporting tools are on the way.