By: Amen Sharma / August 30, 2018

Twitter CEO Is Rethinking Twitter

The spread of hate speech across social media seems to be on the increase, so Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is rethinking some core parts of the platform to try and prevent this.  It also aims to prevent harassment, fake news and even some popular conspiracy theories.

Dorsey said in an interview with The Washing Post that he was experimenting with features that would promote alternative viewpoints within Twitter’s timeline.  He aims to reduce “echo chambers” and address misinformation. He also wants to redesign the “like” button and other key elements of Twitter. He’d like the labelling of bots to be clear on the social network too.

Dorsey said: “the most important thing that we can do is we look at the incentives that we’re building into our product.”  He says whilst they do express a point of view of what they want people to do, it isn’t correct anymore.

This comes after other social media CEOs have started to review their platforms.  For example, Mark Zuckerberg wants people to trust Facebook again after the third party data breach so he has put a heavy focus on the platform being for family and friends.

Twitter’s algorithm does seem to be the best in ensuring users get the content they want to see, unlike Instagram who has changed theirs many times.

Tweets with false information or abuse can easily escalate with retweets, especially when a popular user with a large following retweets the content.  A strong incentive for users is that Twitter allows you to sign up under a pseudonym. This allows people to get their thoughts of their chest without persecution, yet obviously, this means they could post hateful content under this hidden name.

Some of Twitter’s features have been exploited on a large scale in recent years including in the 2016 election in America when Russians spread propaganda in the hope it would stir political unrest in the US.  Regulators pushed tech giants to police the content that can appear across their platforms. The industry historically has a tolerance in the favour of free speech so some social media platforms are struggling to tackle this in the right way.

Over the last few months, Twitter has made several changes to promote the site as being safe and trustworthy.  It now has the ability to suspend accounts through machine learning software that assesses account behaviour. Dorsey said Twitter execs are still struggling to define the terms “dehumanising” and “real-world harm” as they are trying to police content that fits these terms.

Twitter is trying to surround false tweets with factual context.  Doing this will leave people to make judgements for themselves over what is legitimate and what is not.

Business use automated accounts to send out information, but Twitter hopes to label these as automated too so other users know what they are looking at and who they are interacting with.  You can easily manage your Twitter account for your business with some of our tips!

The new policies Twitter are implementing are being tested at the highest level.  This includes high profile figures who post controversial tweets such as President Trump.  

The Twitter app is actually a News app and comes under this section in app stores.  So they want to allow some controversial newsworthy comments from world leaders such as Trump.  This means people can gather an insight into how global leaders think.

Executives from Google and Facebook, along with Dorsey are attending a high-profile Senate hearing in September about Russian efforts to spread disinformation ahead of the midterm elections in the US in 2018.

About Amen Sharma

Director of and author of UK's bestselling online marketing book 'The Google Checklist'. Amen loves to help small to medium size businesses get more online exposure. Amen started his online marketing journey back in 2006 and now runs his own award winning marketing agency.

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