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Twitter is sick. The prognosis is grim

Twitter is sick. And it’s sorry for infecting you. Oh, and — do you have an aspirin?

That was the gist of Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey’s mea culpa this week. In a series of tweets Thursday, Dorsey confessed that the company “didn’t fully predict or understand the real-world negative consequences” of the instant, public and global messaging it pioneered. “We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough,” he said. “We’ve focused most of our efforts on removing content against our terms, instead of building a systemic framework to help encourage more healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking.”

Dorsey is asking the public to help Twitter get better. It is inviting outside experts to submit proposals for ways to define and measure the “health” of conversation on the platform, presumably as a first step toward improving it. As a first attempt, Dorsey has suggested four metrics based on the work of an MIT-affiliated nonprofit: shared attention (is there overlap in what we’re talking about?); shared reality (are we using the same facts?); variety (are we exposed to different opinions grounded in shared reality?); and receptivity (are we open, civil and listening to different opinions?). Read Full article

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