- In an interview with Buzzfeed, Jack Dorsey addressed the issue of bias on Twitter, and suggested that one fix would be to “break” the way people follow specific accounts and hinted instead that people would follow broader general topics.
- This comes after Dorsey told the Washington Post that he was experimenting with ways to break users out of the so-called “echo chamber.”
- Such a change could massively change the way Twitter works.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey hinted that he wants to break the way people follow accounts on the platform in an interview with Buzzfeed News on Tuesday.
Talking about discourse and bias on Twitter, Dorsey said (emphasis ours):
“There is more than one Twitter… but our product today doesn’t allow you to see that. It’s not built to do that. Like, our product is not built around following topics and interests. It should be and that’s what we’re going to do, but it’s not today.
“You are at the will of an account that might have multiple interests, but it’s just confirming one thing constantly or dragging you into something that might not be representative of the broader whole or your broader interest. 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.”
His main concern seems to be that the way the timeline functions at the moment means that users only experience a very narrow version of Twitter, based entirely off who they follow. Anyone who wanted to switch up and follow different interests would need to build up their time from scratch, a time-consuming effort.
It isn’t clear from Dorsey’s comments what exactly he’s thinking about a redesign. But an overhaul of the timeline and follows would completely change how Twitter works.
Dorsey similarly told the Washington Post earlier this month that he wants to stop “echo chambers” proliferating on Twitter, and that he was experimenting with new features to prevent this.
Centering the timeline around spheres of interest rather than individual follows might resemble a forum more than a social network – more akin to Reddit.
There’s one small hint as to how a future Twitter might look. Twitter already has an interest-based service called Moments, which curates tweets around specific topics and themes. That encourages users to read around subjects such as News, Entertainment, Sports, and Fun, rather than individual users.
Twitter declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.
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