I’ve reactivated my Twitter account, but I won’t be indulging in my usual Bruce Forsyth obsession and lies about 1970s newsreaders. At least not until I’ve found out why it took Twitter over 14 hours to suspend an account that had been posting images of the sexual abuse of children.
I thought I’d email Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo to ask why the removal of the offending item took so bloody long. Mr Costolo’s email address is not in the public domain. If I had Mr Costolo’s address, I wonder how long I’d last on Twitter if I posted it on there? Under 14 hours? Under 14 minutes? Anyway, I tried a few different variations in the hope that one of them would be right.
When I woke up, I realised I could tweet Mr Costolo, so I reactivated my account and asked him this: “Hello @dickc. You run this place, I gather. Why did it take so long after reporting to remove a child abuser’s account and pictures?”
Let’s see how he responds, if at all. I encourage you all to ask him the same question.
Oh look, what’s this? Anonymous are claiming to have got the offending account taken down within an hour? @YourAnonNews alerted its followers to the account at 3.04pm on Thursday, UK time. I had reported the account to email@example.com at 2.54am on Thursday, over 12 hours earlier, and I know I wasn’t the first. The Internet Watch Foundation was doing serious work behind the scenes to get the account pulled long before the Anonymous intervention. Saying it all happened within an hour is unhelpful because it makes Twitter seem responsive and effective. If Anonymous had said that after 12 or more hours of inaction, the account was removed within an hour of their tweet, and that these two details were unlikely to be coincidental, that would have made for a much better line.