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Miley Cyrus to Twitter: Stop the death threats

The singer, who has more than 5 million followers, has had enough with people threatening her on the site. She believes it's Twitter's responsibility to do something about it. Or else?

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There are at least as many halfwits in the world as three-quarterwits or fullwits.

This can make Twitter a difficult place to navigate, as maturing star Miley Cyrus is beginning to discover.

In recent days, Cyrus has been subjected to tweets that encouraged her to, well, die. One reason allegedly given by nasty tweeters, according to ABC News, is that Cyrus "dresses like white trash."

Some might wonder whether, instead of wishing famous people to die, nasty tweeters ought to well, obtain a life. Or at least go clothes shopping.

Cyrus, however, feels that Twitter itself ought to do something about this vilification. She tweeted: "@MileyCyrusBz I wont tolerate someone telling me 2 die. I think Twitter needs to take some responsibility and make it a safe environment!"

Twitter's policy on death threats is a curious one. It says that the company will "investigate reports of violent threats." But, it says, "please remember we are not the police and we cannot actively work with the police to report incidents that you report to us."

It is, therefore, up to you to do something about it. In this case, the offending tweets have been removed, but it is unclear if Twitter itself did get involved.

Cyrus has more than 5 million followers, so the laws of mathematics decree that some of them will be fools and knaves.

However, Cyrus has been aware of Twitter's many perils for a while. Just over two years ago, she quit Twitter by making a YouTube video, which I have embedded to stimulate nostalgia. In it, she declared that she was leaving because she had begun to "tweet her pimples."

She also declared around that time that "Twitter should be banned from the universe."

Yet who could deny that she may have a point? Not about banning it from the universe, but about Twitter being a little more vigilant. Sadly, her argument might only be heard if some real mischief is done after a Twitter threat.

Perhaps Twitter is currently too busy selling your old tweets to marketing companies and ensuring that the French president doesn't suffer from parody Twitter feeds that break Twitter's guidelines.

Naturally, some will feel that sites like Twitter don't want to police themselves too closely, both from a political and economic perspective.

I have contacted Twitter to ask whether the site became involved in this incident and whether it believes it can take steps to police tweets a little more closely.

It might well be that Cyrus will try to to use her considerable sway in order to bring a little social order to Twitter's wild and talkative frontier.

I fear, though, she may have to make some threats in order to achieve her goal. Perhaps she might choose to get her 5 million faithful to bombard Twitter's Jack Dorsey with insistent tweets and sung videos attached.

Just thinking aloud, you understand.