Right now, Twitter’s board, executives and employees are all considering what life may be like under new leadership by Elon Musk. should the board decide, or put it to a vote and the shareholders decide to accept the offer, Elon would begin addressing his issues with the policies at Twitter that govern free speech on the platform.
Today, Musk spoke at a TED Talk in Vancouver and during the interview, he explained how he feels it’s important that people should be free to express themselves within the bounds of the law. This means something like inciting violence would still be banned, but someone having a controversial view, would not.
Musk says he believes Twitter should open source the Twitter algorithm. Doing this would make the algorithm public so the world can transparently see how content is being ranked, de-ranked, prioritised etc to the audience so we can all understand if it is fair.
Musk also admitted that he doesn’t have all the answers and is open to new ideas on how to make Twitter better, so here’s mine – News Diversity.
When it comes to news and particularly news pertaining to politics, but also some of the more controversial topics like Covid vaccines or UFOs, we can often get drawn into a real circle of confirmation bias. This means you follow like-minded people and the content you click through and read is re-inforcement of the side of a debate that supports your current thinking.
if we’re going to create a society that is better informed with more rounded opinions, well thought out from a variety of sources and break down those echo chambers, then let’s try something new and different.
To have a more informed debate, people’s ideas should be challenged and as uncomfortable as it can be, this would reduce the impact of many media organisations having overt or undisclosed skews to their content – here’s a concept to improve the platform.
News Diversity would work like this. When you click on a tweet or a link in a tweet, a split-screen dialog box would appear, showing would appear, showing another take on the same topic. On the desktop there’s real estate to do this, on the mobile, it may be a swipe to review the alternatives and this doesn’t have to be limited to just 2 sources.
This would expose you to the fact that what you’re reading in one headline, could be dramatically different from the original tweet you saw. Of course, you could still continue through to the intended article, or check out the alternative to expand your view.
This doesn’t make an assessment of who’s write or wrong but gives users the opportunity to make that evaluation based on having both sides to the story.
If Twitter’s AI is able to determine where content is factually incorrect (easy when it’s science-based vs opinion), then that content could be flagged and a link to an official source provided.
You can watch the full TED talk interview below, but leave a comment below, or reply to this post on Twitter, to let us know what you think of the idea.