In recent weeks the micro-blogging giant Twitter has been facing a growing torrent of criticism regarding its inability to deal with highly abusive tweets that have been received by a number of high profile users of the service.
In response Twitter appears to have been slow or reluctant, or perhaps both, to address this issue head on and as a result is facing something of a brand backlash. A brand the size of Twitter must surely have a crisis management strategy for such events, yet so far there has been little from Twitter to combat what many are seeing as an increasingly damaging time in the organisation's brand history.
According to some recent YouGov BrandIndex data - which measures the bad and good things said about a brand and can act as a good indicator of public perception of a brand – Twitter is indeed facing a downward trend. Twitter's Buzz score has dropped from 9.9 on the 25th July to 8.4 on the 30thJuly – a significant drop in YouGov's opinion. The general impression of the brand has also declined as has its “Value” score. All in all this is a worrying time for the brand so why is it not doing more to counteract it?
Industry experts recognise that Twitter, by its nature of being relatively transient and offering some degree of anonymity, has a difficult task in tackling abuse cases but, they argue, this is not a reason to ignore them.
To create a “Report abuse” icon does not seem that difficult a task, but maybe developing the back office administration is where the problems lie. Building a team to effectively deal with any reports and ensure that Twitter users do not just become more frustrated if they report an incident and feel that no action has been taken may be where the obstacle lies.
Experts believe that Twitter needs to engage at a human level on this issue – as a US based firm there can be a tendency to always look global rather than local. Communications in this instance need to be developed specifically for the UK marketplace to ensure the message is right in tone and nature. One thing is for sure – tackling it head on is now an absolute must or the only way that their carefully constructed brand reputation in the UK will continue to go is down.