Pop singer Miley Cyrus asked Twitter to take action after recently receiving death threats on the site, calling the site out directly on Twitter.
“I won’t tolerate someone telling me 2 die,” she tweeted on her account. “I think Twitter needs to take some responsibility and make it a safe environment.”
The response from Twitter: That’s not our problem. They acknowledged that it was her responsibility, in addition to all other users, to contact the proper authorities.
But should the responsibility of keeping a safe environment on Twitter fall solely on them? Guests Laura Prepon and Wilmer Valderrama weighed in.
“It’s a free-for-all,” said Valderrama, who has also been a target of threats on Twitter. “To be completely honest, for me, it’s hilarious. You know it’s just some 10-year-old kid in a basement in Ohio.”
He said that at the end of the day, there should be a way to monitor malicious comments and even issue a penalty for misusing the platform that could be potentially hurtful.
“It goes back to the bullying conversation,” Valderrama said. “Some of these kids obviously have some issues, and have some things that they have not worked out themselves. They use the site as a cloaking device; they use it as a punching bag.”
While threats encountered offline usually involve phoning police or other authorities, online threats can be gray areas. Should a person still call police, or pass them off as immature banter?
“I honestly don’t think anybody has any idea how to protect against it,” Prepon said. “Only in the last three to four years has this become such a phenomenon of everything being social media nowadays. Of course we don’t know how to protect ourselves.”
Valderrama suggested red-flagging technology could be used.
“If someone says ‘I am going to kill you,’ I think that there’s technology out there that that specific sentence should pop up somewhere,” he said.
The death threats have been deleted, but Cyrus’s responses against the threats remain.