A number of Twitter's most central features and functionality are currently being reconsidered in light of challenges facing the company, according to statements made by CEO Jack Dorsey during a recent interview with The Washington Post. Among those challenges is the spread of fake news and overabundance of echo-chambers on Twitter. Although reducing the spread of false information is arguably a more pressing matter, both of those issues may be at least partially addressed with a single feature. Dorsey says that the company is looking at ways to offset factually incorrect information in tweets with context. The feature would effectively surface other tweets that point out the information is incorrect and those that express opposing information alongside the offending tweet. The executive posits that such a feature would allow people to judge information for themselves but it would also do so without necessarily limited internet users' ability to express themselves.
Beyond that, the CEO says that Twitter is looking at ways to distinguish automated accounts and how core design aspects of the site and app can be optimized in support of its goals. That could include changes to how a user's follower count is displayed and how the current "like" button works. However, the concept for labeling bots and automated accounts appears to have more traction at this point. That could assist in accomplishing the same overarching goals addressed by providing contextual tweets but would also help users differentiate between bot accounts and users who have signed up anonymously for other reasons.
Discussion about those changes comes amidst a wave of policy changes and high-profile discussions with U.S. representatives, which the executive says have not worked as well as might be hoped. In fact, Dorsey says that policy changes in particular only appear to address "surface-level symptoms" of the underlying problems social media providers need to face. There have been several other actions taken by the company, such as labeling and providing insight into political advertising, as well as mass account suspensions. Those actions have had to be prioritized based on a cost-benefit analysis to ensure they are don't strain the company's resources. Bearing that in mind, it may still be quite some time before the newly outlined changes up for consideration are put into place.