Like a lot of people during the quarantine I’ve had a lot of time to think. And one of the things I’ve been thinking about is the impact of social platforms on our society. Platforms like Twitter, which started off as fun places to to share ideas, meet, and connect with people, have devolved into toxic dumpsites. They have become places that are full of hate and anger and places where misinformation spreads like wildfire. This needs to end.
How can we fix Twitter?
The very first thing that needs to happen at Twitter is Jack Dorsey needs to step down as CEO. Nothing against Jack Dorsey, he seems like he may very well be a good person, but him splitting his time between Square and Twitter just isn’t working anymore. The situation has changed and we (Twitter users) deserve someone who is 110 percent committed to improving the company/product. As smart and talented as Jack may be, 50 percent commitment (even if he gives 100 percent during that 50 percent of the time) isn’t enough.
Twitter as a product has been stale for years now. This may be due to the increased effort to tackle the problems on the site with white supremacy and racism — but honestly, instead of trying to figure out how to live with racism on the site, why not just eliminate it? By allowing this hate to proliferate across the platform you’re ultimately making more work for yourself and your team, not to mention more headaches. While you are so focused on whether to display follower counts and the number of likes a tweet gets you could instead be focusing on improving the actual product if you adjusted your priorities.
Why a new CEO is necessary
When Trump started using Twitter as his main form of communication to his supporters and then subsequently his main form of communication for the American people (and the world), Twitter decided it was in their best interest to let Trump continue to abuse their platform, likely because it meant a higher stock price. That was/is a decision made by Jack Dorsey. He would rather not risk the stock price drop by banning Trump, but you know what, that’s such a flawed way of thinking.
If I was the next CEO of Twitter I would make my first priority to ban Trump. Full stop. There is absolutely no reason not to. He’s violated the terms of service for the site numerous times — it’s 100 percent justifiable. Additionally, there’s absolutely no reason this can’t be done. Twitter is a private company, it doesn’t have to let anyone on it’s platform that it doesn’t want to. It also doesn’t need to allow its platform to be used to spew misinformation just because someone is an elected official.
Now obviously banning Trump diminishes his ability to get his [hate-filled] message across, but so what? That’s not Twitter’s problem. Trump can go anywhere else that will allow him (though ideally, any social platform worth its salt would follow suit and ban him as well).
Banning Trump will obviously lead to some initial backlash and yes, the stock price may drop, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. Whenever I login to social media sites these days I always feel on edge. “What will I see today that upsets me?” I think to myself. It shouldn’t be this way. I know it was a while ago but social media used to be fun, insightful, and helpful. I truly believe we can make it back to that — we just have to make bold decisions to be able to move forward.
The funniest part about all of this is if Jack just banned Trump either early on in his presidency or during the campaign, any stock price dropped that may have been associated with that would likely have been made back up by now. Why? Because Twitter would have been able to focus on innovation and creating a vibrant and healthy community. Hell, maybe we would have an edit button by now if that were the case.
Bottom line: social media companies don’t need Trump (that’s what he wants you to think), Trump needs them. Don’t sell your souls. It’s not too late to stand up and do the right thing.