Amidst the discussions going on around social media websites regulating their content or facing legal actions, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced plans to rethink the core of how Twitter works. In an interview with the Washington Post, Dorsey said, that he is experimenting with features that would promote alternative viewpoints in Twitter’s timeline to address misinformation and reduce echo chambers.
“The most important thing that we can do is we look at the incentives that we’re building into our product,” Dorsey said. “Because they do express a point of view of what we want people to do — and I don’t think they are correct anymore.”
Appreciate the conversation today. This reflects a lot of our thinking. We’ve changed Twitter a lot over time, but one thing we haven’t touched is what the service implicitly incentivizes people to do. That’s the level we need to reconsider. https://t.co/3cqoIz8WHb
— jack (@jack) August 15, 2018
Dorsey’s move is a clear indication of the fact that Silicon Valley leaders are getting serious about improving safety, security, and privacy across their services. In recent months, Twitter has made several moves to combat fake news and other data related scandals.
Earlier this month, Apple, Facebook, and Spotify took action against Alex Jones. Initially, Twitter allowed Jones to continue using its service. But on Tuesday, Twitter imposed a seven-day “timeout” on Jones after he encouraged his followers to get their “battle rifles” ready against critics in the “mainstream media” and on the left.
Last month, the social media giant allegedly deleted 70 million fake accounts in an attempt to curb fake news. It has been constantly suspending fake accounts which are inauthentic, spammy or created via malicious automated bots.
Another solution Twitter is exploring is to surround false tweets with factual context. Dorsey said, that more context about a tweet, including tweets that call it out as obviously fake could help people make judgments for themselves. It is planning to label automated accounts; Legislators and federal lawmakers have already proposed putting such requirements into law. The social media website is also auditing existing accounts for signs of automated sign-up and improving the overall sign-up process.
What is left to see now is whether Twitter can actually effectively implement these claims. Or Dorsey’s statements will go down the drain.
You can read Dorsey’s entire interview on the Washington Post.