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Rules Won’t Save Twitter. Values Will (nytimes.com)
11 points by aaronbrethorst 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments

If the New York Times wants to clean up Twitter they can start with their own staff. They just hired one of the more toxic Twitter personalities to their editorial board:


Rules are set after consideration of values.

I am with Jack on this one. You don't just change rules because everyone else is doing it. What Kara and a lot of other groupthinkers don't realize is how prejudgemental they actually are.

>His intent was to tamp down widespread rumors that Twitter was “shadow banning” — who comes up with these creepy terms? — some conservative users.

Slurring her political opponents as 'creepy'...does she think people are buying that dirty rhetorical trick in 2018?

It's possible I'm being pessimistic, but it seems to me that readers/listeners are more willing to rally around dirty rhetorical tricks in the past few years than any other time I can remember.

you're just paying more attention

I feel like Kara could have made a relatively persuasive argument about different moderation styles and whether it makes sense for us to care more about adherence to a system than making a positive change but I feel like this one kind of missed the mark. It's essentially just a rant about how Twitter won't ban someone she, and a lot of other people, don't like.

I completely agree with her that Twitter, or really any online community, would be better with subjective human driven moderation guided by values but I see two main issues: moderators have to be angels with nigh perfect knowledge and human moderation doesn't scale.

Communities above a certain size are going to struggle with this until the end of time. The only change Twitter can reasonably make isn't to their moderation strategy but platform changes to make Twitter feel smaller. Some examples:

- Only allowing people who you follow to reply to your Tweets and giving posters the ability to disable replies for individual messages or account-wide to stop worldwide dogpiling.

- Changing the default tweet to be protected and having more fine grained controls to limit their audience.

- Making popularity metrics on tweets visible only to the author.

- Hiding retweets be default.

The best description I've heard of twitter is that it's a mirror disguised as a window. Twitter can be great for getting a diverse perspective that most people wouldn't otherwise have access to. It can also turn into an echo chamber that only reinforces and amplifies your existing biases. If what you see on twitter is hate, vitriol, and groupthink then maybe what's ugly is you, not the world you think you're observing.

I am not sure what good banning people from the service does. I don't think it stops people from thinking outrageous and hurtful things. It just moves them elsewhere and makes them less likely to encounter people who could help them be more civil and less sensational.

Social media in general can turn into an echo chamber quite quickly.

But so can traditional media, as there used to be a newspaper for every opinion out there...

unfortunately, I'm not sure I really buy this.

Twitter was basically about to allow Nuclear war to start on its platform. Alex Jones is kinda a foot note comparatively.

Anyways, unfortunately I think a president that gas lights everyone via twitter is what has saved twitter...

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