In the midst of a discussion about major changes that Dorsey is open to making for the sake of "healthier" conversations on Twitter – the tech CEO said if he was designing it today he would not emphasize follower counts or even likes – users responded as you might expect: with plenty of complaints about the platform's seeming inability to prevent harassment and abuse.
Although Twitter does have systems to report abusive behavior and targeted harassment, users have said they don't work as intended, need to be scaled up or simply don't do enough.
The blowback at TED came on the same day that Twitter released a progress report on battling abusive content as the company intends to scale up its systems for reporting abuse and make it easier for users to hide replies to their tweets. According to the platform, 38 percent of abusive content that's enforced is surfaced proactively to the site for review rather than relying on reports from users. The company suspended 100,000 accounts that were created shortly after a suspension from January through March, which is a 45 percent increase from the same time last year.
Another user wondered why Dorsey's platform hasn't cracked down on its usage by neo-Nazis, including those who allegedly used Twitter to organize the deadly Charlottesville riots.
When the TED curator used an analogy about steering the Titanic away from an iceberg to point out that users feel Twitter's not moving fast enough to fix itself, Dorsey reportedly said:
"We could do a bunch of superficial things to address what you’re talking about. We are working as quickly as we can. But quickness will not get the job done. Focus will."
One user expressed concern about Dorsey's health. The tech mogul, who wore a black hat and hoodie during the TED Talk, is a proponent of intermittent fasting and only consumes one meal per day.
At some point during the talk, TED shut down board showing the #AskJackAtTED tweets behind Dorsey, reportedly claiming that it was always their intention to only have up for part of the discussion.