Two years ago, Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Jack Dorsey issued 13 tweets emphasizing the need to make conversations on the platform less toxic. Mr. Dorsey said Twitter needed to work with outside researchers and hold itself publicly accountable for its progress.
Now experts working with the company say those efforts have stalled, and some worry that Twitter’s commitment last week to boost growth—made in response to pressure from an activist investor—could further complicate those attempts.
“For Twitter to increase its user rate quickly while also decreasing harmful content, Twitter would have to learn how to get users to post less harmful content,” said Susan Benesch, a faculty associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center who has studied online speech and is a member of the company’s council.
The problem, Ms. Benesch said, is “Twitter’s leadership has talked plenty about wanting to improve civility or ‘health’ as they call it, but they’ve failed to do—or even allow others to do—the actual work.”