Jack Dorsey’s thoughtful discussion with Sam Harris

Jack Dorsey was recently interviewed on Sam Harris podcast.

Now in full disclosure, I like Jack a lot personally and professionally. And I was on the Twitter board of directors and remain a shareholder. But I have very difficult and mixed feelings about Sam Harris.

I enjoyed Sam’s insightful & provocative book Waking Up a great deal. But while his intellect and insight are remarkable on many topics, his views on guns (written shortly after the Sandy Hook massacre) and Islam are really tough for me to handle. I personally know a number of folks that like Sam so I’m trying to look past my serious discomfort and yet coming up short.

Okay with all of those disclaimers/disclosures out of the way, what I really want to talk about was Jack’s discussion with Sam.

The conversation was really excellent. Sam pushed Jack to explain their policy and why they ban certain behaviors and certain individuals.

Without addressing any specific individuals, Jack made it clear that Twitter doesn’t ban people based on a given tweet. They ban based on behavior (publicly and privately on the platform). I’m not sure that will ease tension amongst the alt-right paranoia but it does attempt to demonstrate that these banned users are doing more than what meets the eye. Furthermore, I believe, while Twitter makes mistakes, they deserve the benefit of the doubt based on their track record.

Other items Jack shared that I thought were interesting:

-Twitter increased the character count from 140 to 280. It turns out most tweets are under 140 characters but the replies often can require 280 for more nuance and context. That sounds like a very healthy thing.

-There was a lengthy part of the discussion that centered around the making conversations on Twitter healthier. Jack was super focused on this.

-Jack discussed his desire to do things out in the open and the benefits of learning in public

-Jack feels that the “like” button is empty and would rather see something else.

I’ll end this post with my favorite Jack line from the interview.

“I want to get to a world where people are walking away from Twitter feeling like they learned something new that benefits them”

Well said. Great discussion. Highly recommend it.