On Tuesday 12 February, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey agreed to have a twitter discussion with Recode co-founder and tech reporter Kara Swisher.
It had the potential to be a twitter town hall of sorts inviting public reactions to the interview conducted entirely in the open, in the public eye.
But it whittled down to a hard to follow thread (even the CEO couldn’t keep track of at times), with many users complaining they couldn’t find the much talked about exchange online.
The specific hashtag created for the event, #KaraJack, wasn't enough to direct people to the chat, and you most likely had to go on either Kara or Jack’s profiles and just keep refreshing – a tedious and uninspired way to check in.
Jack himself added that the follow confusion was one of the reasons they were doing this in the first place, to fix and improve Twitter.
Recode even compiled the thread chronologically into to their Twitter moments to make for an easy read.
Nuanced Questions, Not Enough Space?
Swisher asked some complex, tough questions on the specifics of Twitter’s runnings, looking for exact responses on its harassment policies and counter-measures. Somewhere in between the mess of the thread and the lack of space for depth in the 280 character limit, Dorsey’s vague answers didn't seem to cut it.
The conversation ran in a loop, with Swisher pressing for exact answers, and Dorsey answering in non-committal abstractions.
This was also indicative of one of the platform’s biggest issues – the lack of ability to have a healthy debate. Much of Twitter devolves into a mess of confusion, misunderstanding and often abuse when there isn't enough space to flesh out your opinion.
Twitter may not have been the best way to conduct a unrehearsed, ‘live’ interview, at least not until there have been significant changes in its design.
Twitter Reacts to the Chaos
‘Twitter Convos Are Wack’
In the end, the consensus seems to be that there is much room for improvement at Twitter. At least that’s what Dorsey retweeted and effectively endorsed.