Reimagining the Public Conversation

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Conversation is a superpower. But what if we can make it even better?

By Sarah Personette (@SEP), Chief Customer Officer, Twitter

Conversation connects people, lets us share knowledge and inspires creativity and innovation. At Twitter, it’s the center of everything we do.

And we think it can be so much more.

Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation. Because we believe that public conversation – a free exchange of ideas and information, open for everyone to join – benefits society by solving common problems, inspiring new ideas, even making us LOL.

When people talk, beautiful, wonderful, powerful things happen.

graphic of 3 different tweets about black photographers, sports and Zola

Public conversation connects people. It lets us find common ground we never knew we had. It introduces us to new perspectives. Bonds us over our shared love of K-pop, sports, and silly memes. And helps us understand each other and the world we share, so we’re never in this alone.

Public conversation makes education more accessible. When information changes daily…no, hourly…the public conversation helps everyone keep up in real time. Not just the privileged but anyone who wants to access it.

Public conversation also inspires creativity and innovation. It pushes us to  explore new ideas and expressions from diverse backgrounds and cultures. It sparks our imagination and blesses us with new art, new voices and new creations ready to change the world.

Public conversation, though, isn’t without its challenges. Talk can evolve quickly and sometimes gets heated. Some people feel left out. And the joy and laughter get overshadowed (boo!). So we’re reimagining the public conversation to be more healthy, valuable and open to all.

Healthy conversations

It all starts with a safer Twitter.

Providing a safe and healthy platform is our most important job. Because conversation thrives when people trust what they see and feel comfortable participating. So we’re reimagining new ways for dialogue to feel respectful, informative, and definitely less all-caps.

Like Twitter’s proactive prompts, which are designed to make people think twice about the words they use or to read the articles they’re sharing before actually sharing them. These features are based on the belief that when given the opportunity, people will take the high road.

image of phone with warning screen from twitter

Or our Birdwatch experiment which empowers the very people who are part of a conversation to contextualize information and escalate to us for enforcement when needed. And our new Communities feature we started rolling out this year allows people with common interests to choose how to best moderate their group’s behavior.