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Jack Dorsey vows to clean up Twitter, acknowledges company's failures

The CEO offers a frank assessment of his company's "inability to address" bad behavior quickly.

The first step to getting better is admitting you have a problem.

That's what Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey did Thursday, when he acknowledged the popular social media platform has a serious problem with online harassment, abuse and trolls.

In a series of threaded tweets, Dorsey wrote the company "didn't fully predict or understand the real-world negative consequences" of its global messaging and conversation service. He went on to say the company has "witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns and increasingly divisive echo chambers."

Dorsey noted that Twitter isn't proud of how some people have "taken advantage" of the platform, nor is it proud of its inability to address it in a timely manner. 

Since October 2017, the company has implemented new guidelines and rules designed to curb the numerous incidents of online harassment and abuse that plague the site. The rules include prohibitions on offensive usernames and hateful images, as well as the banning of hate groups.

Dorsey's post outlines Twitter's upcoming approach to promote healthier debate and conversation. It's working with the media analytic company Cortico and a data team called Social Machines to measure the "health" of conversations occurring on the site. 

Twitter is also opening up its efforts to the public, allowing users to submit proposals on how best the site can encourage civil public conversation. Applicants must apply by April 13 and the winning team will receive public data access and funding to start the project with Twitter.