Jack Dorsey responds to #RIPTwitter algorithmic timeline outrage

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has responded to recent RIP protests against the social media platform by assuring users that it will continue to be a live service.

Dorsey tweeted: “Regarding #RIPTwitter: I want you all to know we’re always listening. We never planned to reorder timelines next week.

“Twitter is live. Twitter is real-time. Twitter is about who & what you follow. And Twitter is here to stay! By becoming more Twitter-y.”

An outcry on Twitter’s reported proposal to sort the tweets based on what people want to read, made the company react.

Twitter users opposed the company’s reported plan to move away from the current approach of reverse chronological presentation of tweets.

This followed a BuzzFeed report that the social media giant would introduce an algorithmic timeline as soon as this week.

Algorithmic feeds, an idea which has been in development at Twitter for some months, is being criticised for its likelihood of following Facebook where content is arranged based on an algorithm. The feed would potentially reorder tweets based on what the algorithm thinks people want to see.

One critic tweeted: “Dear Twitter, don’t try to be like Facebook, we don’t like Facebook #RIPTwitter.”

Users also fear that an algorithmic arrangement of content could be a disadvantage to accounts with fewer followers.

Another tweet said: “One of the great rewards of being an adult is deciding ON YOUR OWN who (and what) you should be interested in. #RIPTwitter.”

In his reaction, Dorsey added that his company will continue to work towards improving its ‘while you are away’ feature.

“Twitter can help make connections in real-time based on dynamic interests and topics, rather than a static social/friend graph. We get it,” he wrote.

Twitter is under pressure from shareholders to revamp itself into a mainstream social media platform with a broader user base, but its users seem to be opposing moves to make any changes.

#RIPTwitter, which has become the top trending topic, is the second controversy surrounding Twitter’s policies since Dorsey took over as the CEO this year.

In January, users opposed the company’s reported move to increase the character limit to 10,000 from 140.

In a different context, Twitter said that it suspended over 125,000 accounts since the middle of 2015, for threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS. It has expanded the teams that review reports in order to reduce response time but observed that there is no ‘magic algorithm’ to identify terrorist content on the internet.

“We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter Rules make it clear that this type of behavior, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service.

“As an open platform for expression, we have always sought to strike a balance between the enforcement of our own Twitter Rules covering prohibited behaviors, the legitimate needs of law enforcement, and the ability of users to share their views freely – including views that some people may disagree with or find offensive,” it said in a blogpost.

In December, Facebook, Google and Twitter have agreed to delete hate speech posted on their websites in Germany, when the social platforms were being flooded with anti-foreigner messages with more than one million refugees migrating to the country.

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