What Twitter Still Doesn’t Understand About Its Responsibility

By Conor Friedersdorf

Twitter is designed to elicit frequent, unprompted, spontaneous, and unfiltered thoughts from its users, who come into conflict with one another as in no other medium, sometimes tweeting things they quickly regret.

Those qualities make Twitter a lively, diverting forum for daily conversation—and render it particularly ill-suited to world leaders, as I recently argued. The unparalleled power that the words of world leaders carry make it singularly fraught for them to broadcast unprompted, spontaneous, unfiltered thoughts. And the stakes for minimizing needless conflict among them could not be higher.

Thus, I urged, Twitter ought to just ban world leaders. There are so few of them. And the risk that one will abuse the platform in a way that irrevocably harms millions isn’t worth the tiny benefit humanity gains from following their tweets, given the myriad ways all world leaders can convey information to the public.

Twitter now explicitly disagrees.

On Friday, the company published a new statement on elected world leaders. “Twitter is here to serve and help advance the global, public conversation,” it began. “Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society. Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their …read more

From:: The Atlantic

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