A few weeks ago, I went back through the introductions to the beginning of August and quickly noticed a huge percentage were individuals from the LGBT community explicitly stating they left Twitter/were looking for a safer home.
Is this where it's appropriate to actively question what they think of as "safer?"
Typically, the problem I have is that "safer" really means "without the chance to be challenged or treated like a human being who can be wrong." Needless to say, that's not a position I'm particularly comfortable with countenancing.
I would point out that "all engagement is good for business," and it's not the support of that axiom that is causing Twitter's problems but the opposite which they have adopted in a very public way, "only one type of engagement is good for business." They have become a very paternalistic architecture, not empowering their users to be able to control and curate their own experience in a broad way but taking control and deciding what content they think "is a problem." Adding to the problem is that they are a highly polarized monoculture internally and like all monocultures they can't imagine the existence of other cultures outside of themselves. So anything they wouldn't think of is taboo and must be eradicated.
How they manage abuse complaints is an entirely different issue. Part of the problem with how they do so grows out of the sheer size of the population and how much "abuse complaint" has been turned into a weapon against a certain set of reasonable but divergent-from-the-monoculture ideological statements. Again, because Twitter has taken a more paternalistic approach to content on the platform, they have created the expectation that they will be able to solve all problems – and it's simply impossible in a very literal way. Humans come up with far too many ways to screw with one another.
They've taken the role of the parent driving to the mall and so ended up with a backseat full of kids who just won't stop acting up. Real parents eventually get exasperated and say, "okay, you guys work it out among yourselves but until you do we are not going to the mall," and the kids have to learn to at least coexist with their differences and pretend to get along to get what they want. Since Twitter has no intention of stopping the car and since some of the kids have discovered that they can actually get out and walk wherever they want to go, the results are inevitable.
Of course, when the kids bring their inadequate coping skills and immature outlook to someone else's car, there can be real problems.
Humans. What you gonna do?
It's also worth considering what has happened to Gab since they got the platform and found another domain registrar. It's still a hotbed of trendy edgelord white nationalist bullshit, which is fine, but there is a much stronger dynamic from a portion of the population pushing back and trying to establish a space which is radical conservative friendly without being actively offensive. It's a noble effort, though a combination of being familiar with Goonswarm, 4chan, and having read Saul Alinsky tell me it's probably a doomed effort. An operation that your people enjoy can be dragged out a lot longer than one which is no longer fun.
The real secret to making a social media platform work is not to become a publisher responsible for all of the content on the platform. Once you do so, it's in your best interest to keep the platform from growing and being more widely popular because it becomes much less possible to police that content, and that kind of oppositional pressure can tear something apart. No, it's far more effective to give the users the ability to control the environment they experience, to allow them to self segregate via some form of locality (insulated communities, sub-Reddits, and Pages can all serve similar purposes), give them the tools to filter through the content that exists on the platform to find what they're interested in, and trust them to use those tools.
Simultaneously, you have to recognize that all systems can be gamed and a certain percentage of all populations are assholes. Problems are going to exist. Problems are a sign that things are working, in a real sense. You need to develop a policy which takes into account the fact that a certain percentage of all populations are assholes – and not just those who disagree with your personal philosophies. Everyone that agrees with you is not an angel nor is everyone who disagrees with you inspired by the devil.
If we could get just these things through the heads of people who run social media platforms, we would get better social media platforms. If we could get them through the heads of people who use social media platforms, we would get better social media platforms.
Simultaneously with all of the above, I am very aware that we are still living in the Eternal September. That's responsible for a vast amount of my ongoing ennui.