Conversation is hard. Designing algorithms around it is evening harder

For over a week, Kelly Ellis’s twitter feed was full of rape threats and a stream of accusations coming from a user going by the handle @fredcarson9151. As BuzzFeed News reported in August, Kelly reported the harassment to Twitter multiple times, but Twitter determined that the interactions did not qualify as harassment. Following BuzzFeed’s reporting, the user’s account did get shut down, though Twitter never commented on the episode.Online harassment can include heated, repeated, antagonized arguments designed to silence or create massive discomfort, rape threats, personal attacks and threats against a person’s safety. Sometimes it comes from total strangers, sometimes from classmates. In some cases harassment has become weaponized, and turned into campaigns that involve thousands of social media users converging on and attacking ordinary, everyday people often over nothing…


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