Twitter has become an outrage machine, and needs a major overhaul in how it works, Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said Tuesday.
Faced with criticism that Twitter TWTR, +0.78% incentivizes bad behavior, and doesn’t do enough to protect its users from threats and abuse, Dorsey said at a TED Talk that while Twitter could “do a bunch of superficial things” to alleviate that, the underlying problem won’t be resolved. “We want the changes to last, and that means going really, really deep,” he said.
Dorsey suggested a fundamental change to the social network, in which users would follow topics instead of individuals. As an “interest-based network,” users would see content from anyone sharing the same interest — an idea that sounds similar to bulletin boards from the early days of the internet.
That was not received well on Twitter.
What’s beyond scary here is that Jack Dorsey has no idea what his users want. We don’t want to shift to following topics, we’ve just spent YEARS curating our feed of individuals. I spend an extraordinary amount of time on here. I’ve never been more concerned with its leadership. https://t.co/tQt9q820OR
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 16, 2019
@jack we don’t want to interact with “topics of interest” we just want to interact with individuals who are not abusive cretins and/or Nazis
— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) April 16, 2019
Dear @twitter, @jack, and @twittersupport,
All I want is to see tweets from all of the people I follow in the order that they tweet them. All of these other things you are doing are dumb. I have a block button, a mute button, and an unfollow button. I can’t take care of myself.
— Allen Covert (@THATAllenCovert) April 16, 2019
On a related note, Twitter gave a progress report on its fight against harassment and spam, saying in a blog post that it’s become more proactive in weeding out abusive content and that three times as many abusive accounts have been suspended compared to a year earlier.
“There will always be more to do, but we’ve made meaningful progress,” Twitter executives Donald Hicks and David Gasca said in the blog post.
Twitter shares are up 20% year to date, compared to the S&P 500’s SPX, +0.05% 16% gain this year.
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