Twitter puts out call for ideas to improve 'health' of platform

Twitter puts out call for ideas to improve 'health' of platform
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Twitter is soliciting submissions for ideas to help the company create a measure of the “health” of conversations on its platform.

In a post, the company said that it believes that having such metrics will help make Twitter better.

“Twitter’s health will be built and measured by how we help encourage more healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking; conversely, abuse, spam and manipulation will detract from it,” it said in its call to action.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey elaborated on the goals of the new project in a Twitter thread.

“If you want to improve something, you have to be able to measure it,” he said.

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“What we know is we must commit to a rigorous and independently vetted set of metrics to measure the health of public conversation on Twitter,” he continued, promising that Twitter would be transparent about the results of its measurements.

Dorsey also said that Twitter did not initially “predict or understand the real-world negative consequences,” of its platform.

“We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers. We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough,” Dorsey tweeted.

Proposals for measuring Twitter’s conversational health are due by April 13. Winners will work with Twitter’s team, receive access to Twitter’s public data and funding for their work.

Twitter’s public desire for a measure of the “health” of its platform follows a similar acknowledgment from Facebook.

Earlier in the year, Facebook admitted that its platform can have negative effects and vowed to make improvements.

Recently, social media companies have faced increasing public pressure about the impacts of their platforms. In addition to scrutiny over how Russians manipulated their websites to sow discord and influence the U.S. political process, the companies are also receiving pressure about the harmful effects their platforms might be having on mental health.