So what is Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey doing to address its problems? Not much.
The Non-Answer Interview
Dorsey said in an interview at the TED Vancouver conference yesterday that the company now has an AI detection system that caught and removed 38% of abusive tweets. Cool story, but 38% is still a low number any way you cut it. Other than that, he didn’t offer any concrete plans.
When asked about why Twitter doesn’t confront its issues with more urgency, he replied that Twitter could “do a bunch of superficial things to address the things you’re talking about” but he wants “the changes to last, and that means going really, really deep.”
So, yeah, nothing.
When asked how he’s going to get rid of Nazi accounts, Dorsey sighed and gave a basic ass template answer saying that they have “policies” about violent extremist groups but didn’t explain how they’re actually being enforced.
And his answer to the question about how many people are working on content moderation was “It varies”.
Trolls and abusers bring in the dough
The interview, conducted just hours after death threats against Ilhan Omar and fake conspiracies about the Notre Dame fire spread on Twitter, is yet another sign that Dorsey doesn’t really want to fix Twitter’s problems.
In the past, Dorsey defended his decision to not ban Donald Trump by comparing him to Obama and intervened to allow Alex Jones, who claimed Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, to remain on the app and to reinstate White supremacist Richard Spencer.
Why does Dorsey enable Trolls and abusers? Because they bring in more eyeballs and higher engagement to the platform – which means more ad $ for Twitter.
Big Techs Can’t and Won’t Regulate Themselves.
Dorsey’s aloof attitude towards the app’s issues is exactly what Pulitzer prize finalist Carole Cadwalladr called out on the same TED stage just a day before the interview – putting profits over proper safeguarding of the platforms.
To those of us who aren’t Silicon Valley billionaires, Cadwalladr asked, “My question to everybody else is: Is this what we want? To let them get away with it, and to sit back and play with our phones as this darkness falls?”