5 Questions We Have About Twitter’s completely new “Health” Plan

Twitter finally seems to be coming to grips with the extent of its problems. which’s today publicly admitting to them, in addition to which says which’s trying to fix them.

The unhealthy platform has let its issues fester for years. Its feeds have long been filled with trolls, misinformation, performative outrage, in addition to abuse. in addition to recent Congressional scrutiny has exposed how woefully unprepared which is usually to mitigate state-sponsored manipulation of its platform.

On Thursday afternoon, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey went live on Periscope to talk about This specific completely new focus, explaining which Twitter is usually trying to work to boost its platform’s “health,” an umbrella term under which which’s currently lumping its plan to fix all these problems. On the broadcast, Dorsey was joined by the company’s legal, policy, in addition to trust in addition to safety lead Vijaya Gadde, its head of Trust & Safety Del Harvey, in addition to its health product manager David Gasca. The quartet did their best to explain what “health” means to Twitter, essentially admitting which the company is usually starting at square one.

Twitter, Dorsey said, is usually trying to define what health means in addition to how to measure which, in addition to eventually which might like to give its users the option to choose a more healthy experience. Twitter, he said, “can do a much better job at giving people tools to choose more health, for however we end up measuring which in addition to defining which, which is usually still being worked on.”

If which sounds vague to you, well, which is usually. Which is usually why we’re left with plenty of questions about This specific effort which’s purportedly poised to change the way Twitter works. Here are 5 to start:

Twitter recently released a request for proposals asking the public to help which “define what health means for Twitter in addition to how we should approach measuring which.” Sounds not bad, yet what exactly does Twitter plan to do with the data? On the Periscope, Dorsey gave few clues. “We’ve had conversations about more moderation by community owners,” he said. “yet ultimately we don’t have any particular answer right today.” Dorsey said This specific effort is usually Twitter’s top priority. yet which’s all we know today. Where This specific ship is usually heading is usually anyone’s guess — even Twitter’s, which appears.

Content moderation decisions are often incredibly complex, regularly presenting those producing them using a lot of bad options. Twitter seems to bungle even the easy decisions, in addition to which makes its choices with little transparency, often angering its users who feel which some people have been unfairly silenced, while others run amok. Throughout the broadcast, Dorsey repeated the words “transparency” in addition to “trust.” If the public gets a look into the content moderation decisions Twitter is usually facing, perhaps they will trust which more. Or at least, they’ll empathize with some of the unwinnable decisions. in addition to maybe which’s part of the goal here.

Dorsey, on the broadcast, didn’t mince words about the state of verification on Twitter. “Verification, as many of you know, is usually something which we believe is usually very broken on our platform in addition to something which we need to fix,” he said. The company, he said, is usually reworking in addition to rethinking the blue checkmark, a necessary move after Twitter verified a handful of white nationalists (before eventually taking their verification badges away). The company long held which the blue checkmark was not an endorsement, yet which recently backed off This specific stance after which became clear which no matter how many times which said “verification is usually not an endorsement,” people still see which which way. Twitter, Gasca said, is usually thinking about “the profile on the platform, in addition to how can we increase context so you know when you see someone, how to evaluate what they’re saying. How you should interpret their message based on who they are in addition to what their history is usually.” Hearing This specific, which seems like Twitter is usually considering completely new verification options which are even more complex than the hard-to-decipher system which exists today. Verification should be simple: which should simply indicate which you are who you say you are. yet which’s a tough system to put in place for more than 300 million users. which remains to be seen how This specific effort will turn out, yet which seems which will take Twitter time to figure verification out.

Throughout the Periscope broadcast, viewers commented on Periscope about the company’s perceived bias against conservatives. “Twitter hates conservatives. Not nice to us,” wrote one user. “Stop crushing conservatives,” wrote another. Gadde addressed these accusations, telling viewers which Twitter’s employees go through anti-bias training, in addition to if they’re found to make biased decisions, they’re disciplined. Still, should Twitter implement major alterations to emphasize “health,” the comments indicated which will likely face pushback through segments of conservatives, some of whom seem ready to seize any opportunity to claim the San Francisco-based company is usually trying to silence their voices.

The bulk of Dorsey’s comments were was vague, yet he was crystal clear on one thing: Twitter wants to be more transparent. “Often times we have taken action on tweets in addition to accounts in addition to not explained why. We’ve had a bunch of policies within the past which we are today revisiting around how we communicate in addition to to who we communicate,” he said. “In some cases we weren’t communicating to the reporters, in some cases we weren’t communicating to the violator of the terms of services, in some cases we weren’t communicating to the planet. We see opportunities around all those dimensions to add more clarity around our actions.” is usually Twitter’s “we don’t comment on individual accounts” policy — which which’s used as a shield when asked to explain tough judgment calls — on its way to the ash heap of history? Sure sounds like which.

Twitter did not immediately respond to these questions. We’ll update the story if in addition to when which does.

Alex Kantrowitz is usually a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News in addition to is usually based in San Francisco. He reports on social in addition to communications.

Contact Alex Kantrowitz at alex.kantrowitz@buzzfeed.com.

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