Devin Randall's picture

Twitter Users Upset By Idea To Update The Program With Forced "Alternative Views"

Think Twitter’s a grudge pit full of shouting fights? Just wait till Twitter updates to include forced opposing views!

Right now, that update is not official and is more an idea that the social media platform’s founder, Jack Dorsey, is considering.

Dorsey told the Washington Post that he’s looking to improve Twitter as it has provided the space for malicious intent and action.

“The most important thing that we can do is we look at the incentives that we’re building into our product,” Dorsey said. “Because they do express a point of view of what we want people to do — and I don't think they are correct anymore.”

One possible way he wants to do this is to label robotic accounts that pose as human led.

While not all Twitter users with robotic accounts are malicious, such as businesses who use automated accounts to send information on weather or stock prices, there are also those who have mistreated the features. This includes Russian operatives who spread propaganda and false information during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.

Another way that Dorsey is considering “improving” the program is to reduce “echo chambers” where like-minded people share similar ideas without every considering alternative viewpoints.

It’s currently unclear how these “alternative viewpoints” would work, but news source them. thinks those opposing views from strangers on the internet will suddenly start popping up on your timeline or possibly even your personal threads.

And they aren’t the only ones who are upset by that idea.

Keep in mind that the initiative to create more inclusive spaces and conversations on Twitter isn't a bad thing. That said, the forced inclusion of opposing viewpoints can create a toxic atmosphere on the app. 

For instance, consider LGBTQ users being forced to read tweets about religious freedom or Black users having to read tweets about the confederacy/confederate flag.

Would this updated Twitter with its “alternative viewpoints” really help create more acceptance and inclusive conversation or would it create more conflict? What is considered an equal opposing perspective? How do they choose what perspectives to present to which people? Where will these perspectives appear on Twitter?

These are just a few of the many questions arising after Jack Dorsey’s comment, and they left us wondering whether Dorsey really thought it was a good idea in the first place.

h/t: The Washington Post, them.