Twitter pledges more transparency in its content moderation practices

CEO Jack Dorsey admitted his firm lacks transparency and in giving more choices and control to people

Jack Dorsey
Dorsey tweeted the Bitcoin receipt on Monday afternoon, and said the funds were sent to the charity | File Photo: PTI

Microblogging platform Twitter has pledged more transparency in its content moderation practices, stating that social media entities are facing a “significant trust deficit.”

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, admitted that his firm lacks transparency and in giving more choices and control to people. But he said it’s making a lot of progress in its accountability by owning up to its mistakes and correcting them.

Dorsey told analysts that Twitter intends to make its content moderation practices more transparent, give people more control to moderate their interactions, enable a marketplace approach to relevance algorithms, and fund an open source social media standard.

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“We agree many people don’t trust us. Never has this been more pronounced than the last few years. And we aren’t alone: every institution is experiencing a significant trust deficit,” said Dorsey, who had co-founded the company. Focussing on metrics like transparency, accountability, reliability and choice will have a huge impact, Dorsey noted.

The comments come at a time when issues like provocative posts to misinformation and from data breaches to privacy issues have placed social media companies including Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp on the line of fire in India, and other markets.

On Thursday, India announced regulations for social media firms as well as OTT players requiring them to remove any inflammatory content flagged by authorities within 36 hours and setting up a complaint redressal mechanism with an officer being based in the country.

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The guidelines also make it mandatory for platforms like Twitter and WhatsApp to identify the originator of a message that authorities consider to be anti-national and against the security and sovereignty of the country.

The social media norms come within weeks of a spat between the government and Twitter over certain messages around the farm laws protests that the government saw as inciting violence. The government had sought removal of about 1,500 accounts and messages, a request that Twitter complied with, only after being warned of penal action.

While the company doesn’t disclose country specific user numbers, government data put the microblogging platforms user base at 1.75 crore.

Dorsey also talked about working on doubling Twitter’s development velocity by the end of 2023, resulting in doubling the number of features per employee that directly drive either mDAU (monetisable daily active users) or revenue.

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“We have a goal of at least 315 million mDAU in the fourth quarter of 2023, which requires continued compounding growth at about 20 per cent per year from the base of 152 million mDAU we reported in the fourth quarter of 2019,” he added.

The company also aims to more than double its total annual revenue to over $7.5 billion in 2023.

“This requires us to gain market share with performance ads, grow brand advertising, and expand our products to small and medium sized businesses throughout the world,” Dorsey said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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