TWITTER CEO JACK DORSEY UNSURE OF HOW TO CONTAIN MISUSE OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH
From being a mere microblogging website to a platform for discussing politics and other discourses, trolling people and sending them threats, Twitter has certainly come a long way, maybe not the way even founder Jack Dorsey had expected.
The recent trend of dragging old tweets and using that against people, Dorsey thinks that an archive of old tweets is basically a record for people “to understand decisions made in the past and mistakes from those decisions, or benefits from those decisions.”
The most recent incident where old tweets were used against a person being termination of Hollywood director James Gunn from Guardians of Galaxy Vol. 3 where he joked about rape and paedophilia.
However, this has also increased the level of toxicity on Twitter over political discourses. Dorsey says that introducing 240-words character limit was one such experiment. To clarify ones stand. Clearly, it has created more problem than solving. According to him, they are still figuring out ways to allow more “nuanced” and “contoured” discussions.According to an interview with Buzzfeed News, Dorsey believes that there is more than one side to Twitter than just being about topics and interests. He further gives an example that today an account is followed because it is defined by a single interest, but that person’s account may have multiple interests. On the contrary, that one interest of the person then becomes the representative of all interests. He adds, “So we’ve only given to people very coarse-grained tools with which to manage their experience. Following accounts being the number one and we need to break that.”However, what happens when an account of a public figure like the US President Donald Trump crosses the line and tweets about bombing North Korea which was clearly a threat. According to Twitter’s Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead, Vijaya Gadde, their focus is on protecting private citizens more than public ones. According to her whatever Trump tweets may not be of public interest, which seems quite twisted since the voice of a public figure is enough to influence decisions or instigate problems. Let’s not forget the famous “420” tweet of Tesla CEO Elon Musk when he decided to take the company private which led to a plunge in Tesla shares.However, if there is a problem they will check it on a case by case basis.Jack Dorsey is confused about the status of Twitter. He wants to bring a change but does not have tools for it. He wants the platform to be impartial and transparent but like he says not everything is perfect and all he and his team can do is to “shine more light” on the problem.