Thoughts on Joe Rogan's conversation with Jack Dorsey
I finally got around to listening to Joe Rogan's interview with Jack Dorsey. They spoke for over two hours on topics such as the history of Twitter, encouraging emergent user behavior like the hashtag, and how the company deals with abuse on the platform.
What struck me the most in this interview is the genuine nature of Jack's character. He seemed to truly understands both the tremendous good Twitter brings to the World but also recognizes the problems it faces and the risks to society. His approach to finding solutions to hard problems is one of open and transparent dialog. He also acknowledges that Twitter has a “global responsibility.”
It was refreshing to hear him speak openly about the issues facing the platform. He admitted that Twitter had contributed to creating echo chambers which cause polarization and division on sensitive matters. He suggested Twitter could do better to expose users to varying opinions and viewpoints on dividing issues.
Perhaps where Twitter has received the most criticism is how it has handled instances of abuse. Though he did talk in detail about where the company had failed, Rogan could have been more pressing on this topic. In recent years, there have been horrific cases of bullying, intimidation, sexual harassment, and doxing to name a few. Joe in fact received criticism for not pushing enough on this topic, which he discussed in a later episode of the podcast.
Though Twitter has seen its share of controversy, it is a starck contrast to the mutiny of ethical transgressions committed Facebook over the year. Not to mention the fact that Facebook is reluctant to take responsibility for what its platform enables.
Politico's EU Confidential podcast interview with Facebook's new VP of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, illustrates this point. In it, he more or less suggests that it is the role of governments to regulate social media platforms to prevent the misconduct they enable (political meddling, harassment, etc.)
Sure, waiting for other's to solve the problems you created is one way to go about it.