TWITTER has become the small bowel of the American news landscape - the place where the narratives you see on prime-time cable are first digested and readied for wider consumption.

It's no accident that it is President Trump's social network of choice. And it's also no accident that  foreign powers are attracted to Twitter.

According to its recent congressional testimony. Twitter was a primary target of Russian trolls who sought to influence last year's presidential election.

It is precisely because of Twitter's wider social importance that even  nonusers should demand fixes to how it works. Besides the propaganda problem, at the moment - as Jack Dorsey, Twitter's co-founder and chief executive, recently acknowledged -

Twitter is a hostile place for women, minorities and many others, who are barraged by threats and hate speech.

Twitter now concedes that the system for mitigating some of these problems, the verification badge, has been badly mismanaged. The blue check system started out as a simple way to verify a person's identify - a kind off trade mark for ensuring that a tweet from an account with name Donald j Trump had come from the real Donald J Trump.

Twitter declined to discuss how it might change  its verification system, and there are so many questions about how such a plan might work.

Before we get to those, let's deal with the two most obvious criticisms of this idea.

One : Who cares?

Two : Isn't Twitter supposed to be a bastion of free speech?

''Who cares?" is a fair question.

Twitter's user base is tiny compared with those of Facebook and Instagram, and its arcane conventions and the generally combative, depressive hellscape that is much of its content deters most normal people.

But because it is catnip for journalists, who think of it as a fast feed of news and commentary, Twitter exerts influence beyond its numbers.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest  Global Operational Research on Twitter and  Social Network continues to Part 2.


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