TL;DR: Twitter CEO and founder Jack Dorsey appeared on the popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, Friday, 1 February 2019. The social media mogul discussed a wide range of topics, including challenges as to how the micro-blogging platform is used and the company’s responses or lack thereof. Comedian and host Joe Rogan asked probing questions about how Dorsey and crew decide what is hate speech, how Terms of Service are arrived at, and the impact all of it is having on world culture when the obvious evolution of the form is moving to immutable blockchains.
Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey on Joe Rogan Reveals Inner Workings of Platform
Joe Rogan Experience #1236 – Jack Dorsey was enlightening for Twitter users in a variety of ways, and especially for the cryptocurrency community. Regarding mob mentality of shutting down accounts and speech certain groups do not like, Dorsey appeared to be very aware: he described a “deep learning AI” to get ahead of manipulation. For example, he acknowledged folks gang up on certain views and attempt to get Twitter to ban that account. He also seemed to marvel at the fact a sitting US president is among the most active of his company’s users, and certainly the most notorious.
Dorsey, bearded and hoodie’d out, took a lot of deep breaths, seemingly knowing every word, every sentence, will be analyzed and dissected. At about 45 minutes into the conversation, he mentioned how they wish to not “touch” posts, insisting the natural evolution of the medium is to be placed on a blockchain, which Dorsey described as “immutable” and “permanent.”
Dorsey also claimed “everyone has a right to” Twitter. And when Rogan pressed him about banning the likes of Alex Jones, the Twitter CEO described Jones’ violation had more to do with than just speech. Dorsey continued to stress Terms of Service and Jones’ conduct as being taken in total as reason for the ultimate ban. Twitter held out the longest with Jones among mainstream social media outlets, Rogan mentioned.
Dorsey was especially conscious of his platform being weaponized to shut down speech, and the tension he sees between that and putting people’s personal safety at risk. He described the seeming paradox as a vibrant “internal debate” within the company.
He also revealed Twitter’s emergent, organic evolution as a platform, from the @ symbol and #, the hashtag. These cannot be uninvented, he stressed, and now anyone can share raw thoughts with anyone in the world. He referred to Twitter as something like a “global subconciense,” going to “deep places in society,” at times “uncomfortable.” He also agreed it really has grown out of the company’s control.
When Rogan asked about bots, Dorsey conceded scripting has gotten “so sophisticated” as to be difficult in determining whether an account is human. Dorsey also touched on how they push groups like ISIS off the platform by working with “law enforcement partners” and even civil libertarian groups such as the ACLU and EFF. He also admitted to the company not being “open enough” about their Terms of Service and how policies are ultimately arrived at. He insisted, “physical safety” and “doxxing” reside among his greatest concerns in making sure people are safe being first, and not outed for unpopular thoughts a close second.
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