#AskCostolo Highlights Twitter’s Harassment Fail

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was interviewed on CNBC on Tuesday, and the network invited Twitter users to ask him questions about the social network with the hashtag #AskCostolo. It could have been an opportunity for the company to address users’ concerns over safety and harassment on Twitter, but the questions were never asked.

Over 30% of the questions sent via the hashtag #AskCostolo had to do with safety on Twitter, but Costolo didn’t address them. Instead CNBC asked softball questions the network chose, largely pertaining to the company’s earnings call Tuesday afternoon. 

Reporting harassment on Twitter can be a problem. As many users note, it can take months for the company to respond to someone’s complaints. The company’s privacy policy regarding blocking and harassment focuses on the victim’s behavior rather than that of the harasser.

See also: Twitter Reverts Blocking Policy After User Outrage

Twitter has had problems with these issues in the past. Last year, the company changed its blocking policy so that it effectively “muted” other users instead of preventing them from following someone. At the time, Twitter justified the move by noting that users can get antagonistic once they realize they’ve been blocked and suggesting that inconspicuously hiding their interactions with the blocking users—i.e., muting them—offered a better solution.

The move caused an uproar on Twitter from people who had suffered harassment, and Twitter reversed its decision a few hours later. (It has since implemented a mute function.)

Tuesday’s #AskCostolo questions show that dealing with harassment on Twitter is as bad as ever.

The discussion of safety and blocking on Twitter comes at a time when the tech industry is working to bring more diversity into the workforce. In fact, Twitter recently released workplace statistics, showing that 90% percent of its technical workforce is male.

Of course, Twitter is a public social network, so there’s an argument that users should expect the trolls. But when tweeting turns into harassing or stalking, the company has a responsibility to enable safe and efficient means of reporting and ending the harassment—especially if, like Twitter, it has an entire team dedicated to the safety of its users

It’s high time for Twitter to answer those questions.

Updated 4:27p.m.: Updated to clarify Twitter didn’t pick the questions CNBC asked.

Lead image via TechCrunch on Flickr

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100 Internet Marketing Experts Speaking at SMX in NYC

More than 100 of the world’s most knowledgeable internet marketers will present at Search Marketing Expo – SMX East, September 30 – October 2 in New York City. They’ll share what makes them successful, what keeps them up at night, and what you’ll need to know to succeed in the next…

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Success Story: Linda Rogers , 45, of Woodstock, Ga. lost 121 pounds – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Success Story: Linda Rogers , 45, of Woodstock, Ga. lost 121 pounds
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SEO: Linda Rogers , 45, of Woodstock, Ga. lost 121 pounds photo. Linda Rogers AFTER photo — credit: photo contributed by Linda Rogers; weight in photo: 184 pounds; age in photo: 45 years; when photo was taken: March 2014. HANDOUT PHOTO – NOT …

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How Twitter Won The World Cup

Twitter is growing, but it’s not just the monthly active users that matter.

On the company’s Tuesday earnings call, CEO Dick Costolo said that the size of Twitter’s audience is two to three times as big as the number of monthly active users—271 million—on Twitter. That means millions of users who aren’t on Twitter are seeing tweets, including those embedded in the media, or shared by friends.

“We will position ourselves to reach the largest audience in the world, and everyone on the planet,” Costolo said on the earnings call.

This quarter provided Twitter a perfect opportunity to showcase its prowess as a real-time platform on a global scale, thanks to the World Cup in Brazil. By my count, various Twitter execs used the phrase “World Cup” 13 times during the one-hour call.

Throughout the global soccer tournament, which ran from June 12 to July 13, Twitter displayed soccer information including game times and live scores, as well as notifications that encouraged people to take part in the conversation happening through hashtags and tweets. 

During the semi-final game between Brazil and Germany, Costolo said, “we had 2 billion Tweet impressions off Twitter in addition to our 4.4 billion Tweet impressions on Twitter.”

See Also: Why Twitter Needs Its Own Messaging App

But Costolo was quick to point out that the World Cup didn’t actually get more people to sign up for the service. It just increased “engagement,” or people interacting with the service.

So what drove user growth during the quarter? Costolo chalked it up to product updates like new profile pages that help new users understand the product better.

One product update that will likely get a much-needed makeover this year is the direct message feature. According to Costolo, the messaging platform—one that’s currently frustratingly buggy—will be a focus for the remainder of the year.

Another possible surprise in store for users might be a manipulated, algorithm-based Twitter feed. Currently users see tweets from the accounts they follow in real time—unlike Facebook, which filters your news feed based on what it thinks you care about the most. That sort of change would be an interesting—though controversial—shift for a company that wants to be the world’s most important real-time platform for news and information. Costolo, however, said on the call that he isn’t ruling out the idea.

The social network has 271 million monthly active users, an increase of 24% year-over-year. More than three-quarters of those users—78%, to be exact, or 211 million—use Twitter on a mobile device at least once a month.

Lead image courtesy of Flickr user paulisson miura

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Spanish Law To Force Google To Index And Pay For Local News

There’s a basic feeling among traditional news publishers throughout Europe, and among some in the U.S., that Google has benefited enormously from their content but failed to offer anything in return. Furthermore, many publishers see Google as directly responsible for the decline of their…

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Factors to Consider While Optimizing the Title Tag For SEO – Business 2 Community

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Factors to Consider While Optimizing the Title Tag For SEO
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Adhering to SEO is of utmost importance for every business to create a strong online presence. It is one of the most effective methods to increase brand visibility on the internet and gain more user traffic for the website. When you draw out SEO

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Snapchat’s New Celebrities: Now You See Them, Now You Don’t

Not all that long ago, the rise of the YouTube celebrity was weird and daunting. Then came the age of Vine, whose stars rose to prominence in videos so fleeting they raised what then seemed an existential question: “How could you possibly get famous on the basis of six-second clips?” Next up were Instagram personalities-as-photo-celebs.

Inevitably, it’s now time for the most transient social media platform of them all—Snapchat, with its blink-and-you-missed-it “ephemeral” snaps—to take its turn in the spotlight. Because Snapchat is now spawning a rising group of “stars” who are gaining traction, working with brands, and (of course) making money.

Forbes reports that advertisers are paying up to $30,000 to Snapchat celebrities for promoted snaps. TV networks and brands like Disney, Major League Soccer, and Taco Bell are working with big Snapchat users to create snaps aimed at teens and young adults aged 13 to 25—their prized .

In the same way that advertisers partner with YouTube celebrities in order to access a fanbase of millions of young audiences, brands are now reaching out to Snapchat for a window into the ever-elusive world of the complicated teen mind. With over 4.6 million members and 350 million photos shared daily, it’s clear that brands will be seeking out Snapchat sooner rather than later.

How To Build Stardom On Quicksand

Snapchat, of course, is best known as the home of the disappearing “snap”—basically a captioned photo you could send to a friend, who’d then have between one and 10 seconds to view it before it vanished, seemingly forever.

But last October, Snapchat expanded into Vine-like territory with Snapchat Stories, a way to string together photos and videos in order to create longer narratives. Longer, that is, in a relative sense, as Snapchat Stories still disappear after 24 hours.

That’s long enough for some entrepreneurs, who’ve strung together snaps and stories to build their own Snapchat followings. Some of these creators earn up to $100,000 a week on this ephemeral platform.

Shaun McBride, better known as Shonduras, to may be the first person on Snapchat make a business out of taking pictures and sketching quick, colorful cartoons onto them. McBride has amassed more than 140,000 followers, and has partnered with brands like Disney and Taco Bell to create Snap advertisements.

McBride’s picture-doodle mashups are fun and visually arresting. His subjects range from himself (ice-fishing for octopus, for instance) to a mournful-looking dog decked out as a Yoda-like Jedi (complete with lightsaber) to a towering unicorn vomiting a rainbow over a mountain range. 

Why do brands like snaps? Largely because they take up an entire mobile screen and force the viewer to absorb the information quickly. That makes them a perfect vehicle for a short, punchy advertising message designed to stick with the viewer long after the ad itself has disappeared.

Jerome Jarre, originally a Vine celebrity with 6 million followers, cultivated a following of 1.2 million on Snapchat. He’s also the co-founder of Grapestory, an agency that signs Vine and Instagram celebrities (much like YouTube’s “multi-channel networks”) and connects these stars to branded deals.

Social media networks like Snapchat will always be crawling with their own homegrown stars. It’ll often be difficult for outsiders to understand where their popularity is coming from—and it’s not always clear that big brands themselves get it, either. Still, they’re willing to fork over lots of money in hopes of associating themselves with the popularity of social-media users with big followings.

Images courtesy of Forbes

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Bing Launches New Resource About Malware-Infected Sites by @mattsouthern

David Felstead, Principal Development Lead at Bing, announced a new feature that Bing has been working on to ensure its users are well protected. For some time Bing has been cautioning users when a search result could be potentially harmful. However, access to any further information was only available to those with a Bing Webmaster account. Bing has solved that problem with the launch of their new Bing Site Safety Page. The new Bing Site Safety Page is a portal where all Bing users can go to learn why a particular site is being flagged, how long it has been […]

The post Bing Launches New Resource About Malware-Infected Sites by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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SearchCap: Bing Safety, Yandex Earnings & Bing Ads New Look

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Bing Ads Is Getting A Slick New Look That Will Feel Familiar Bing is unveiling a new look that will start showing up in the web interface next week. The new…

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Negative SEO: How to Know if You’ve Been a Victim – Business 2 Community

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Negative SEO: How to Know if You've Been a Victim
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Negative SEO happens and it's something that can be used against you anytime, no matter what industry you are in. This post will help you quickly identify if you've been a victim of negative SEO and provides tips on how to overcome it.
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