Twitter seeks to help in the fight against abuse

Reuters

Twitter was asked to help design a “health check” to measure its contribution to the public conversation.

He said he looked forward to working with “outside experts” and invites proposals.

Its chief executive, Jack Dorsey, said the platform’s “instant public global messaging” has “in the real world negative consequences” that Twitter had neither entirely predictable nor understood.

Twitter has been repeatedly criticized for the amount of abuse and propaganda posted by some of its users.

In support of his new position, Mr. Dorsey has tweeted a link to an organization called the Corticospinal tract.

It identifies “shared attention”, “shared reality” (which he describes as “using the same facts”), the variety of opinion and welcome the different points of view as indicators of the health of a public conversation.

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Lisa-Maria Neudert, of the Oxford Internet Institute, said that it was a positive step to see Twitter ready to share its data with researchers and fund their work, but questioned the manner in which the measurements can be performed.

“I’m not sure if you can measure the health of a speech,” she told the BBC.

“If the shared subject of the speech is a terrible propaganda message that is not very healthy.””Not proud of”

However, Ms. Neudert has said that it was a good thing for Twitter.

“It is the Twitter way of saying” we realize our platform has problems and we have to do things,” she said.

“This is not just propaganda and meddling, but it is also hostile to the community on Twitter.”

Mr. Dorsey admitted that the firm had found it difficult to manage the way the platform has been used.

“We are not proud of the way the people have taken advantage of our services, or our inability to respond fast enough,” Mr. Dorsey wrote on Twitter.

In a series of tweets, he said that the company had focused on the removal of offensive content, rather than trying to encourage more healthy debate”.

Explaining Twitter, the decision to seek a health check, he said: “If you want to be able to improve something, you need to be able to measure it”.

Twitter has seen a variety of profile accounts closed, often by celebrities, because of the persistence of the trolling.

The Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones left in 2016 after a barrage of abuse after the release of the remake of the movie, which has attracted criticism because of all the women in the cast.

Since then, she has returned.

Singer Ed Sheeran has been another example of someone famous abandonment of Twitter.

On Thursday, the British chef and campaigner Jack Monroe left Twitter “for the sake of my mental health”.

“I’ve been in enough abusive relationships to recognize the gas lighting, coercion and intimidation, and my personal relationships are suffering as a result of what I saw here every day,” Monroe wrote.