Twitter has been blamed for all manner of society’s ills. At a recent TED conference, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was challenged on why the changes being made to combat abuse and misinformation on the platform, haven’t been more rapid. Interviewer Chris Anderson likens Dorsey to the captain of the Titanic and stated that “It’s democracy at stake, it’s our culture at stake”.
This pressure to make positive changes isn’t new to Twitter, and there are steps planned to make a difference. One of those small steps, which is set to launch in June, is a ‘Hide Replies’ feature.
Twitter says this feature is an experiment that could be removed, underscoring the fact that this platform and social media as a whole, is still so new, that it’s impossible to predict the consequence of any new tool.
By giving users the option to hide replies, rather than promoting enlightened discussion, it could very well be used to silence those that don’t agree with you or contribute fact-checking comments.
The intention of hidden replies is to take away the voice of those that make hateful remarks. And now, the original poster of the tweet can simply hide malicious comments.
These small steps are important and taking them slowly means they don’t make too big a mistake that could have a greater negative impact on society. The pace of change isn’t rapid, but it is considered and that’s better than charging forward without due caution.