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Michael Tsai – Blog – The man who built the retweeten



Alex Kantrowitz (Hacker News):

After the retweet button debuted, Wetherell was hit by how effectively the scattered information. "It did a lot of what it was designed to do," he said. "It had a force-multiplier that other things didn't have."

"We wanted to talk about earthquakes," Wetherell said. "We talked about these first response situations that were always positive and showed where humanity was in its best light."

But the button also changed Twitter in a way that Wetherell and colleagues did not foresee. Copying and pasting made people look at what they shared and think about it, at least for a moment. When the retweet button debuted, the friction was reduced. Impulse replaced the least minimal degree of thoughtfulness when it was baked to share. Before retweeten, Twitter was pretty much a cozy place. Eventually all hell broke loose ̵

1; and spread.

[…]

A platform could revoke or set the retweet capability of the audience who regularly reinforces terrible posts, Wetherell said. "Curing individuals is too difficult, as YouTube could witness," Wetherell said. "But curing the audience is much easier."

[…]

MIT's Rand suggested another idea: to prevent people from retweeting an article if they did not click on the link. "It can make people slow down," he said. "But even more so, it can make people realize the problem of sharing content without reading it."

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