Today on Fresh Air we’re talking about the Twitter paradox: How a platform designed for free speech and connection has also
created an ideal platform for trolls – online bullies. David Frenchwill tell
us about being targeted by trolls. He’s
a writer for the conservative publication National Review. After he criticized Ann Coulter, the alt-right and Donald Trump, he was bombarded with hateful tweets.
“It was unbelievable. I began to see images, for example, of
my youngest daughter, who we adopted from Ethiopia… images of her in a gas
chamber, images of her photoshopped in slave fields… and then it just got worse.”
Then we’ll hear from Charlie Warzel, who covers technology for
BuzzFeed and has written a series of articles about what Twitter is and isn’t
doing about trolling. “Twitter has a very rigid set of community guidelines,
unfortunately these rules seem to be enforced haphazardly.”
For ten years, Reddit had been unbreakable. It has just kept growing. The founders feuded with each other. It kept growing. The CEO quit. The new CEO quit. The web went mobile, and Reddit did not. But it kept growing. Nude celebrity selfies starting popping up, while Reddit’s employees played whack-a-mole with the trolls and tried to refute its worsening reputation. Even then, it limped along. Now, on this July day, Reddit was broken. And for the first time ever, Huffman worried that it was unfixable. “I thought, this time Reddit might not survive,” he says.
MORE: Inside Reddit’s Plan to Recover From Its Epic Meltdown