According to Business Insider, Twitter is currently causing some unhappiness amongst its users due to rumours that the site might be removing the “like” button from tweets.
During a Twitter event, CEO Jack Dorsey suggested he would be getting rid of the function “soon” to enhance user experience, but the Twitter communications team is still very vague about the actual plan.
"As we've been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivising healthy conversation, that includes the like button," Twitter Comms tweeted. "We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now."
As we've been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivizing healthy conversation, that includes the like button. We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now. https://t.co/k5uPe5j4CW— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) October 29, 2018
But many of the platform’s users are rightfully pointing out that Twitter still has a lot of work to do when it comes to some of their bigger issues and they need to fix those first before taking away simple features that users actually find practical.
You know, like blocking white supremacists and hate mongerers from trolling people online.
Wired reports Cesar Sayoc, the man arrested for the recent attempted pipe-bomb attacks, was once reported to Twitter for his violent tweets, but the company apparently said his posts didn’t “violate community guidelines.”
These are the issues that Jack and his team at Twitter could be working on instead:
Listen to your users and their reports
How often do we hear stories of Twitter reports not being taken seriously? If Twitter listened to their users about potentially dangerous trolls who post inflammatory content and say dangerous things, then it would go a long way into making Twitter safer for everyone. Especially women and POC or the LGBTQ+ community who are often subjected to online harassment.
Hey @Twitter remember when I reported the guy who was making threats towards me after my appearance on @FoxNews and you guys sent back a bs response about how you didn’t find it that serious. Well guess what it’s the guy who has been sending #bombs to high profile politicians!!!! pic.twitter.com/xBY8FMbqnq— R O C H E L L E (@RochelleRitchie) October 26, 2018
What would promote healthy conversations would be for you to take peoples reports seriously and have them reviewed by actual human beings and stop suspending or shadowbanning people for a number of hours for defending themselves against people who troll them for hours on end.— diane ?????? (@dianelyssa) October 29, 2018
Ban the Nazis and white supremacists
Twitter’s rules already prohibit abusive behaviour like harassment targeted at specific people or groups, so why are they still allowing white supremacists to use the site all willy nilly without any repercussions baffles me and completely disregards that guideline. And it’s really dangerous if someone gets doxxed (their private information leaked online).
Twitter: We want to make conversation healthy on Twitter!— Dr. Grand Moff Duke???? (@shaunduke) October 29, 2018
Most Peeps: So, ban the Nazis?
T: Haha, no. We'll have non-chronological timelines and we'll remove the like button.
MP: We literally don't want that.
T: Haha, but it'll make things better.
MP: No, it won't.
Stop verifying extremists
That little blue tick gives people clout in a lot of ways. There’s a legitimacy and authority behind it. Verified extremists include conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Souza and right-wing pundit Ann Coulter. The Independent notes that white supremacists Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer were also verified at one point, although their checkmarks have been revoked.
Don’t suspend people when they’re just defending themselves
"when we report someone for death or rape threats or hate speech, please remove them."— Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue) October 29, 2018
twitter: "remove the like button? it's done."
"no, just the shitty people--"
twitter: "your account has been suspended for violating the terms of service."
Twitter has been criticised in the past for suspending users who defend themselves against trolls or say something on Twitter when they were called out in public.
In a New York Times op-ed published in November 2017, Thorne N. Melcher wrote that her account had been suspended when she called a troll “garbage” for harassing her. In October 2017, The Guardian reported that Rose McGowan was suspended for tweeting “Ben Affleck f*ck off” after he claimed not to know about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse.
Twitter has a lot of issues it needs to iron out, but for some reason the site thinks that fixing problems that aren’t even problems is somehow going to improve user experience and make their platform better when it won’t.
No matter what you use the site for, if it’s chatting to friends, keeping up with news, tweeting political opinions or all of the above, twitter should be able to protect you when you’re using that platform so you can feel safe doing so.
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