Chris Wetherell, developer of Twitter's Retweet, said in an interview this week that he regretted producing the retweet. “We have given a loaded gun to a four-year-old boy,” Wethrell said, adding that the Retweet feature contributed to the rapid publication of false news and false news.
Wethrell also relates the lack of lynching campaigns on Twitter to the Retweet feature. Wethrell argues that this feature on the platform needs to be corrected. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey thinks the retweet feature needs to be rearranged:
You should definitely think about the incentives and consequences of all your actions including retweet. For example, commented retweets can encourage users to think more before they spread.
Wethrell, the developer of Retweet, offers a solution that removes retweet from accounts that frequently share damaging messages. The solution offered by David Rand, who works on misinformation at MIT, is similar to Wethrell's approach. Rand argues that those who do not click on the link in the tweet should be prevented from retweeting so that users can pause and reflect on the topic before sharing an instant reflex.
While working on Google Reader, Wetherell, who came to Twitter with the invitation of Evan Williams, who was the CEO of Twitter at that time, developed the retweet button and continues to sign new initiatives in the silicon valley.
With the rapid rise of social networks in the past, we can see that many ideas that developers first put forward have serious consequences today. While the products developed are moving many stones socially, they can turn into a deadly weapon in the political arena for malicious actors. If technology initiatives take lessons on this subject, it may lead to a more cautious approach to produce products that will come into our lives in the years to come.