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
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.
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
16% gain this year.