Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admits that platform causes creation of filter bubbles

On the topic of filter bubbles, Dorsey agreed that Twitter contributed to filter bubbles and that was wrong on its part.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been in the limelight for a while now, seen addressing the US Senate, taking measures to ensure there are fewer spam accounts on Twitter and in general trying to (appear to) do a lot of damage control on the platform.

At the recently concluded Wired 25 conference, Dorsey spoke to Wired editor Nicholas Thompson on a range of topics but focussing on the aspects of free speech on Twitter.

Dorsey explained how Twitter wasn't about all these major issues when it began and that a lot of the things we now associate with Twitter such as the hashtag, trends, retweet, etc, were invented by the users themselves. While Twitter still stood for freedom of expression, Dorsey said that it wasn't absolute freedom of speech, but should be treated as a public square where people respect each other.

Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter and founder and CEO of Square, speaks at the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology conference in New York City. Image: Reuters

Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter and founder and CEO of Square, speaks at the Consensus 2018 blockchain technology conference in New York City. Image: Reuters

Dorsey agreed that Twitter had been slow to respond to abuse of free speech.

"Our enforcement system mainly relies on reports, which unfairly puts the burden on the victim of any abuse or harassment. So we do need to fix it," said Dorsey, promising that Twitter would be employing more AI provided they are able to scale those systems.

On the topic of filter bubbles, Dorsey agreed that Twitter contributed to filter bubbles and that was wrong on its part.

"I think we need to fix it. But I don’t think it’s the chronological timeline or the ranked timeline that does it. I think it’s the fact that we only enable you to follow an account," said Dorsey.

It was refreshing to see the CEO of a social media giant acknowledging the areas in which his platform was falling short. But we need to see how Twitter will go about implementing some of the measures to cut down on the uncontained abuse and harassment that a lot of users still face on a daily basis.

On being asked whether the change in coding the platform was the reason for Twitter transforming from a short form messaging service to one which is causing upheavals (both positive and negative) in many places, Dorsey said that wasn't the case.

"The organising principles of nation-states cannot solve things like climate change and it can’t solve things like economic inequality, and it can’t solve things like nuclear war or displacement of work by AI. So we’re either going to react into a global conversation, or we’re going to start having more of them proactively," said Dorsey.

To watch the complete interview, head here.

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