As you might know, we’ve dedicated a lot of space to Twitter here on the site. Not only is it a source of infinite lulz, but I feel like the medium is one of the most important tools available to campaigns like GamerGate, and to free speech advocates in general. The service is not perfect. I’ve criticized them many, many, times. BUT, they do have at least some sense of what they have here. They unjustly banned people, yes. At this point, the place still has value, though. How much longer that stays true remains to be seen.
This is not just me talking, by the way. The Financial Times has a bombshell report out exposing the infighting at the social media giant:
Within days of taking over as Twitter’s interim chief executive, Jack Dorsey gave his leadership team an assignment: define what Twitter is for.
At most companies, especially those that have matured enough to trade on the stock market, the purpose of their principle product is clear to its managers and staff. But among the top ranks at Twitter, there was no such consensus. Some suggested it was a media platform, offering live content from big events and celebrities. Others presented it in a more democratic way, as a community where any user could chat with anyone else on an equal footing. A few still cleave to its mission as a sanctuary of free speech.
It’s not a good sign when your almost decade-old company can’t figure out what they’re actually selling . Also note that only a few people “cling” to the notion that the site is about free speech. Fucking cowards. I don’t like where this is headed at all. Neither does Wall Street, now that I mention it.
By the way, Zuckerberg has a quick laugh to share with you on Twitter’s multiple failures over the years:
To its critics in Silicon Valley, Twitter is the start-up that never grew up. “It’s as if they drove a clown car into a gold mine and fell in,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief, is reported as saying in Hatching Twitter, Nick Bilton’s book chronicling its chaotic early years.
Speaking of Wall Street:
“To date, Wall Street has considered Twitter management to be tone-deaf to their questions,” wrote Chris Sacca, an early Twitter venture backer, in June.
But if investors were happy that Mr Dorsey was finally giving them the straight facts and a clear product direction this week, it doesn’t show in its slumping stock. “One of the frustrations for investors is, why wasn’t any of this stuff done more quickly?” Mr Peck of SunTrust said. “Jack has been there on the board all this time.”
Good question. I guess it’s because the company has a bunch of incompetent shitheads at the helm. The article finished up by speculating that a company like Google might scoop them up and run with it. I’d love to see that, personally (Disclosure: Google pays me). I think they would almost certainly do a better job at running things. What do you guys think, though? How would you improve the service and help it grow? If you hate Twitter and never use it, explain that as well. I’d like to hear your thoughts if possible.
I’m working on a couple more stories, and we’re gonna do a Ralph Mystery Theater stream of They Live later today in memory of the inimitable Roddy Piper. Rest in peace, Hot Rod.