The Reputation System Twitter Needs

Instead of building AIs to be thought and word police, automatically (and often wrongly) banning innocent users, @Twitter should really work on a user reputation system. What got me thinking about this is the awesome tool Bot Sentinel. If you haven’t tried it yet, I can’t recommend them highly enough. They’ve got Firefox and Chrome extensions that will automatically spotlight problematic people in your timeline. For example, our dear President:

Makes me smile every time I see that “Untrustworthy”. And while Bot Sentinel is indeed true to its name, in reality it’s much more than a simple bot detector, providing a detailed report on a users Twitter history. Does the person in your timeline have a genuine point or are they just a stirring shit? Click the little robot button on their post and find out!

Now I consider myself to be rather quite trollish. I’ve been known to verbally tussle a time or three with anti-2A goofballs as well as the MAGAs that infest Twitter nowadays. Even so, Bot Sentinel has never seen my account as anything but “Normal” so clearly it takes a lot of boorish behavior to move the needle.

Bot Sentinel isn’t perfect though. I’d love for it to color-code “Moderate” and “Problematic” tweets as it does for “Alarming”. I’d also like the ability to outright filter my timeline based on reputation. If I just don’t feel like dealing with the nutjobs today, it’d be nice to dial the the Timeline down to 25% and just see the “Normals”. One would think, after 13 years, Twitter would have this all figured out. Sadly, that’s not even remotely the case. Policies are changed daily (and often silently), and those that are documented are applied or ignored on a whim.

Buy Bot Sentinel, Twitter. It’ll get you 90% of the way to what your platform needs, overnight. Your users need real tools to manage their timelines. Not the arbitrary policy soup you toss on us daily.