Twitter has been around for a full decade and they still haven't been able to figure out how to improve their most basic flaws. The company's CEO, Jack Dorsey, seems to have stalled Twitter's stock price and the company's progress on fixing its most frustrating flaws. In the process of not positively evolving, the company has managed to alienate certain people with their new and erratic censorship policies. In some cases, the company has added features that have made Twitter worse.

Here are Twitter's top five most irredeemable flaws that have been added or left unaddressed over the course of ten years.

5. The Mute Button

The mute button is a more recent feature that was added to allow better self-controlled censorship. The only problem with the feature is its lack of necessity. With the existence of the block button, the mute button serves only one purpose: to ignore mutual followers without losing them as followers.

Twitter is a platform built for narcissists. Rather than appear to lose a follower, the mute button lets Twitter's vain and narcissistic users keep their facade of popularity while ignoring the tweets of some mutual followers (people who they follow that also follow them). The mute button acts as a spineless cop-out for narcissists. It's one of Twitter's worst features...but I'm sure Twitter's vast cesspool of narcissists would disagree. The mute button also lets those undesirable followers see the narcissist's tweets without ever knowing they've been muted.
4. Counting Things As Characters

Twitter recently attempted to correct one of its biggest flaws this summer: counting images and links as a part of the 140 character limit. It took Twitter a full decade to realize how ridiculous it is to count gifs and links as characters in its already strained and ineffective platform. If you've ever tried to have a meaningful debate with someone on Twitter, you've probably noticed yourself reverting to a six-year-old vocabulary.

Bless Twitter's dead little heart for trying to fix this problem. Unfortunately, they didn't go far enough. Twitter still counts user names (handles) as characters. So, if you're trying to have a meaningful debate with someone who has a really long Twitter name, you'll need to shorten your points to acronyms. It's the same story if you're trying to talk to more than one person. There are still big differences between Twitter's desktop and mobile/android versions, but for the most part, the 140 character limit hasn't improved much. Having a conversation on Twitter is still as impossible as it was a year ago.

3. The Locked/Private Feature

Twitter gives you two choices: to make all your tweets public or to make all your tweets private. God forbid there should be a middle ground! Over at Facebook, users are given the flexibility to make some posts public and some posts private to friends and followers. There is no such option at Twitter, nor is there any talk of changing this feature in the future.

2. Censorship

Under Jack Dorsey, Twitter has made news for deleting accounts and shadow-banning people with "incendiary" opinions. Meanwhile, the company has come under fire for allowing Islamic terrorists and jihadists to use the platform without the same consequences.

Twitter has also stirred controversy by adhering to requests by foreign governments to censor and ban citizens with certain opinions or criticisms. Of course, this isn't exclusive to Twitter. Both Google and Facebook have come under fire for doing the same.

1. The New Algorithm

A few years ago, Facebook implemented a new algorithm that controls what users see on their news feeds. This meant that some posts would no longer appear in some people's timelines. For Facebook, the algorithm was a success and improved engagement among like-minded friends. Seeing the successful results, Twitter tried to do the same thing.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter failed. The reasons this same algorithm doesn't work for Twitter is because most people use Twitter to follow and interact with random strangers, not friends. Twitter doesn't have the same infrastructure or means to successfully measure what users like, don't like, or are more likely to be interested in. Instead of making Twitter more engaging, the new algorithm has made it less engaging and more frustrating for less famous users. Since the new algorithm was implemented, users without verified accounts have experienced fewer retweets and engagements. This reduction in exposure has frustrated new and less prominent users.

The new algorithm, which removes your tweets from people's timelines, has turned Twitter from a promising platform with great opportunities for up-and-coming writers and artists into a platform that silences and censors less prominent users.

       October 2016 | Augustus
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