In response to the increasing criticism over his handling of the site, Twitter CEO Dorsey has conducted an array of interviews about Twitter’s future, which reportedly includes putting “alternative viewpoints” in users’ timelines.
The Washington Post claims that during its interview with Dorsey, he touted the idea of restructuring the “core” of how Twitter works. According to The Washington Post, “Dorsey said he was experimenting with features that would promote alternative viewpoints in Twitter’s timeline to address misinformation and reduce ‘echo chambers.’”
While Dorsey did not elaborate on how he would break up the self-selected echo chambers on Twitter, he did discuss a way the site could address the spread of misinformation and fake news. The Washington Post states that Dorsey is “exploring” the idea of ranking and placing tweets that call out a fake story for being fake around the original tweet:
One solution Twitter is exploring is to surround false tweets with factual context, Dorsey said. Earlier this week, a tweet from an account that parodied Peter Strzok, an FBI agent fired for his anti-Trump text messages, called the president a “madman” and has garnered more than 56,000 retweets. More context about a tweet, including “tweets that call it out as obviously fake,” could help people “make judgments for themselves,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey’s interview with The Washington Post comes as he parted ways with his fellow tech leaders by allowing Alex Jones to remain on Twitter. After being lambasted for its decision in the media, Twitter announced it was creating a policy regarding dehumanizing speech, with Jones mentioned as the context for the change. Twitter eventually decided to temporarily suspend Jones’ personal Twitter--and later InfoWars--for a week.
Dorsey discussed the logic behind site suspensions with with Lester Holt in an interview.
“I feel any suspension, whether it be a permanent or a temporary one, makes someone think about their actions and their behavior,” Dorsey said.
Asked about Jones in particular, and whether he would change his behavior in response to the suspension, Dorsey said, “I don’t know. I’m speaking more broadly as to why we utilize this particular tool. We have found that it does have the potential to change, impact and change behavior. So whether it works within this case to change some of his behaviors and change some of his actions, I don’t know, but this is consistent with how we enforce it.”