Updated: Nov 5, 2022
I'm calling it the BUBBLE RATING system. Let me tell you how it works.
As Elon Musk takes ownership of Twitter, there has been a lot of speculation around how he might change it to emphasize its strengths while limiting its weaknesses. How to enhance free speech while preventing the fracturing of public discourse? With these priorities in mind this simple 'bubble' rating approach, I believe, can do the trick.
Give every account on Twitter a rating called a 'bubble rating'. This rating MUST have a HIGH impact on every account's authority within the Twitter algorithm. Every account's bubble rating refers to how isolated their bubble is, determined by two factors:
How many people they have blocked (weighted less)
How many people have blocked them (weighted more)
This approach would work, mainly, because it flips Twitter's current incentive structure:
People will weigh carefully whether it's worth blocking someone - making them less likely to tune out opposing views.
People will weigh more carefully what they post - as too many people blocking them will pull down their growth and limit their authority.
As an added bonus it should slowly marginalize bot accounts as they are relatively easy to identify and block.
(I know that it doesn't work exactly like this inside Twitter, as its more complicated then that, but as a starting position to develop more nuanced policies, it can point the way.)
If we game this out over time I believe we would see a number of things happen that are positive:
Everyone with authority, even those with millions of followers, will of course have many thousands that have blocked them and perhaps dozens or hundreds they have blocked. Since these ratings will be relative to all the other Twitter influencers it should organically allow those who walk the thin line between moderation and hooky content to take over.
Boycotts will take on a new meaning. Large movements to boycott certain accounts may take place. In turn public campaigns to get the masses to unblock others will follow. The key here is community control and moderation - Twitter itself can remain hands off. Big sigh...
This new rating system should not impact those who care little for their authority online and only want to use twitter to communicate within their tribe. That's fine. But if they want to be a real influencer they will need to find moderation.
Which brings me to why I think this is the approach that will eventually take over all social media, not just Twitter. Whose the best at developing hooky titles while appealing to the most number of people? Marketing professionals and advertisers of course.
The natural winners in a system like this will be companies who want to advertise to the masses.