With social media platforms increasingly coming under fire for fanning hate speeches, trolling and failing to stop spread of fake news, Twitter has said it is committed to making the platform less toxic. It is seeking help of users in improving what it calls the “conversational health” so that it ceases to become a platform for abuse, spam and manipulation. Also Read - FarmVille to be shut down this year; will still be playable until December 31
“We’re committing to helping increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation around the world, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable toward progress,” Twitter said in a blog post this week. “We simply can’t and don’t want to do this alone,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted. Also Read - Twitter reportedly testing voice-based DMs for users
Those who are interested in helping it define what health means for Twitter and how it should approach measuring it, they can submit a proposal by filling up a form posted on Twitter’s official blog by April 13. Twitter said its health will be built and measured by how it helps encourage more healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking. Also Read - PM Modi’s Twitter account hacked, incident under investigation
“We are looking to partner with outside experts to help us identify how we measure the health of Twitter, keep us accountable to share our progress with the world and establish a way forward for the long-term,” the post reads. Twitter mentioned works of Cortico, a US-based non-profit research organisation, as one of its inspirations.
Cortico has developed four indicators to measure conversational health — shared attention, shared reality, variety of opinion, and receptivity. “We believe that we can identify indicators of conversational health that are even more specific to Twitter and its impact,” Twitter said.
“We don’t have all of the answers and cannot do this alone, but know that the outcome will be stronger when we look to experts around the world for counsel and support,” it added. Twitter said that successful applicants will collaborate directly with Twitter’s team, receive public data access and meaningful funding for their research.
Funding will be provided as an unrestricted gift to the proposer’s organisation(s), to be provided in full at the start of the project. “We expect to announce the first selected projects in July,” the microblogging site announced.