Twitter has a lot of problems, from white supremacy running rampant on its platform to the company not doing enough to protect its most vulnerable communities. One of Twitter’s biggest issues, though, is communication.
Among the platform’s critics, a common theme is that Twitter has people in high-level positions who fundamentally misunderstand the platform and how to talk to its users to address their needs.
This week, Twitter opened a job that may help address some of those issues and make communication between the company and its users a bit more seamless.
The tech giant is hiring a “Tweeter in Chief” to run its main account and lead its editorial direction. According to the job description on Twitter’s careers site, this person would be responsible for being the company’s representative on the platform:
Tweet Tweet. You’ll be @Twitter on Twitter. Our Tweeter in Chief. You’ll set the tone of who we are and how we act, and talk to people on Twitter. No big deal.
While this is probably a great opportunity for anyone who is smart, innovative, and an avid user of Twitter, it will come with its own unique set of challenges, including ones that have plagued the platform since it’s earliest years.
Since it launched in 2006, Twitter has come under fire from users and non-users. It’s been hammered by activists for allowing hate speech to fester and emboldening groups who spread it and recently lawmakers accused it of having a conservative bias.
Now, this person probably wouldn’t be making the kind of high-level decisions necessary to combat some of these problems. But as the voice and representative of the company, they’d have to answer publicly for some of the major issues the platform has.
Hiring someone from one of the communities that Twitter has failed to protect could be a good move. Take #blacktwitter for example, one of the platform’s most engaged user bases that also faces the most harassment and the least protection. Someone from this community would be well positioned to address the needs of users and speak from the point of view of someone who has had success and troubles on the platform.
The move by Twitter is a smart one. Hire someone who has a presence on the platform to communicate with and address the issues of the people who use it could, in theory, make users feel more comfortable and add a layer of transparency to the company that it’s been missing.
The vision is solid and promising, but only time will tell whether or not the company actually executes it.