In July of last year I wrote to Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, to send him some unsolicited advice on how, in my opinion, Twitter could have evolved towards a more user-friendly platform model, with a much lower number of fake accounts and with a new revenue stream to be used a little to please the shareholders and a little to make some innovative features available to users.
The central point of my proposal was based on the availability of a package of additional features to be reserved for users premium who, at a very low monthly cost, could have something more than traditional users. Among the additional functions we can hypothesize: the revocation of a tweet, its modification, the saving in a sort of catalog favorites, the sorted view of conversations, and so on. Premium features to be offered to paying users, in the full spirit of platforms that offer some basic free features and others more sophisticated for a fee.
To overcome the big problem of interactions with fake or anonymous accounts, which unfortunately infest the platform and often make conversations unlivable by forcing you to block a very large number of users for being able to breathe a little healthier air, I had proposed mandatory identity verification for premium accounts. In practice, when you decide to subscribe to the premium version you are also obliged to provide your identity document and, consequently, you get the verification of the profile. This feature would be especially useful if linked to another premium feature: the ability to choose which interaction on your tweets is granted only to verified accounts. In this way, a network would be created in the Network, in which premium users, who at this point would be compulsorily verified, could choose to be visible or receive comments and retweets exclusively from other premium or otherwise verified accounts, deciding from time to time to which type of network to contact, public or verified.
It would be a smaller and in a certain sense less “democratic” network, as conversations could sometimes be limited to verified users only, but the quality of the conversations would be raised because all fake accounts, artfully created to pollute discussions, would be cut off at the root.
As a last proposal I had hypothesized the creation of an account “credibility index”, with an algorithm to be identified, but which could start from specific functions of “Like” or “dislike” on individual tweets, so that the credibility of an account is not measured solely by the number of followers, but also by what readers think of the individual content that is produced by that account. It is a different way of thinking about a social network, which favors the quality and cleanliness of conversations over the background noise that is too often generated account fake which unfortunately, especially on Twitter, represent a real limit to the use of the platform.
A few days ago it was announced Twitter Blue, a small step exactly in the direction of the proposal that I sent to Jack Dorsey: he doesn’t have me never answered, but I sincerely hope you have read it.