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By Alyssa Newcomb

There was once an opportunity to make Twitter a kinder place, where people didn't bicker so much and the President of the United States didn't resort to name calling.

That ship has since sailed, but Twitter's former CEO, Dick Costolo, said today he takes responsibility "for not taking the bull by the horns."

Twitter has repeatedly been taken to task for what some say is a failure to effectively address online trolling and abuse.Bethany Clarke / Getty Images

Related: Silicon Valley's Visceral Reaction to Trump's Immigration Ban

"I wish I could turn back the clock and go back to 2010 and stop abuse on the platform by creating a very specific bar for how to behave on the platform," Costolo told a gathering of Los Angeles techies at the Upfront Summit, according to Axios.

Bullying on Twitter was a complex problem, and during his tenure as CEO, which ended in June 2015, Costolo said he became distracted by trying to accomplish other tasks.

He compared bullying to spam, explaining that the solution would need to involve making it more of an expense and waste of time to be the bully than the person receiving the abuse.

So, could policies put in place back then have perhaps changed the way Trump tweets? We'll never know.

Trump has a track record of retweeting racists Twitter accounts, and he's prone to name-calling. On Tuesday, he mocked New York Senator Charles Schumer for his tearful objection to Trump's immigration ban:

To be fair, while his tweets may rub some people the wrong way, Trump doesn't appear to have violated any of Twitter's rules.

However, the 45th President of the United States isn't above the rules on Twitter. He won't be granted any special protection if he violates Twitter's rules on violent threats, harassment, and hateful conduct.

"The Twitter Rules apply to all accounts, including verified accounts," a Twitter representative said in November , when asked if the rules will be enforced with Trump.

Twitter didn't immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment on this story. However, let's all take a step back to simpler times and admire Trump's first tweet, sent in May 2009.

Short, self-promoting and no name-calling. Those were the days.