back to article Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey rebrands himself a 'single point of failure' and quits

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey resigned on Monday, anointing CTO Parag Agrawal as the social network company's new chief executive and announcing the elevation of board member Bret Taylor, former CTO of Facebook, to Independent Chair of the Board. Dorsey, who remains CEO of payments biz Square, explained his decision to depart in a …

  1. HildyJ Silver badge
    Holmes

    Get while the getting's good?

    Dorsey has been under pressure for some time from major investors like Elliot Management to choose between Twitter and Square and to devote his energy towards one or the other.

    Given that, and given Twitter's competition problems, not to mention its political and privacy problems, I think he decided Square was the hassle free option.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get while the getting's good?

      Square, by contrast, has privacy and regulatory problems. I'm pretty sure if I were a billionaire I'd have told Elliot to hire two CEOs off the street if they're not happy with my work.

      1. AW-S

        Re: Get while the getting's good?

        "Square, by contrast, has privacy and regulatory problems"

        It has, but the direction of travel is much clearer for Square.

        Regulations around Twitter and similar platforms are only just about to get serious.

        1. GruntyMcPugh

          Re: Get while the getting's good?

          "Regulations around Twitter and similar platforms are only just about to get serious."

          Don't they just need to go buy a theme park?

          1. BenDwire Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Get while the getting's good?

            Don't they just need to go buy a theme park?

            I hear thet Peppa Pig World is very good ...

            1. Insert sadsack pun here

              Re: Get while the getting's good?

              That's a theme pork.

              1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

                Re: Get while the getting's good?

                You're just hamming it up.

  2. Someone Else Silver badge

    Oh, goodie!

    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey resigned on Monday, anointing CTO Parag Agrawal as the social network company's new chief executive and announcing the elevation of board member Bret Taylor, former CTO of Facebook, to Independent Chair of the Board. [emphasis added]

    Oh-comma-goodie! Incestuous board membership to insure that the blight of <sarcasm>social</sarcasm> will continue to fester and molder well into the future.

  3. fredblogggs Bronze badge

    mmm cake; where's my cake?

    "...how to temper user posts in a system designed to reward provocation, to limit accountability, to tolerate bot-based amplification, and to avoid the cost of human editorial oversight and fact-checking."

    You can't. Either you let people write whatever they want and accept that some of them, some of the time, are going to say things you dislike, disagree with, or consider dangerous, or you don't. As currently constructed, Twitter is not a newspaper; it does not and cannot provide anything resembling journalism; to imply that one should expect that is insane. There is no middle ground, no compromise position that works, no balance to be had. It doesn't matter whether you pay your writers, what length at which you cap articles, or whether your writers are self-selected or hired off the street. Editorial control is binary. If you have it, you limit your audience and your ad impressions severely. If you don't, you'll sometimes be ashamed of what appears beneath your corporate logo (it's not a masthead because if you don't have editorial control you are not running a newspaper, and only newspapers have mastheads).

    Quit being greedy and choose. Do you want to be a newspaper or a platform? Right now Twitter is neither: I know I can't expect anything I would read there to be factually accurate or even remotely intelligent, but I also know that ideas and messages are allowed or excluded -- not at all transparently -- on the basis of the operators' personal preferences. That makes it the worst of both and filled with crap ads to boot. If you want me to look at those ads so you can make money, you have to make some tough choices, and accept that making those choices probably will not earn you my business even so. Until then, I'll continue ignoring whatever you think your website is and everyone who publishes there. Whether or not humanity needs Twitter, I'm sure I don't, and replacing the CEO seems very unlikely to change that.

    1. Insert sadsack pun here

      Re: mmm cake; where's my cake?

      "Editorial control is binary. If you have it, you limit your audience and your ad impressions severely..."

      This isn't true. There is a spectrum of editorial control: you could have none, you could have AI editors (naughty word bots etc), you could have light touch human editors (moderators), you could have full editorial control of content (every word reviewed and approved by professionals), and any intermediate point along the way.

      Neither is it true that editorial control would shrink audience and ad impressions: you'd lose a few bots and extremists, but if the Twitter product were more sane you might gain more "normal" people like you who don't want to swim in the current cesspool.

      "only newspapers have mastheads"

      Ha-harrrr, matey, landlubbers like ye have no idea of the true meaning of words! The masthead of my pirate schooner, Yachty McChatbotface, has seen all seven seas!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: mmm cake; where's my cake?

      You are sort of re-hashing the argument about whether or not Twitter is a platform or a publisher. If you want to go down the full non-editorial route you have to claim platform and deny responsibility for anything your users do. Two possibilities then; either you remove the requirement to sign up in order to post (so you lose that tracking information which you are selling), or you keep that requirement and give sign-up details and any others necessary to the authorities when they need to chase someone for something they've posted. Hmmm but you will still need to be able to delete posts which are deemed illegal so you still need editorial control over some aspects so unless you make posts ephemeral - that is they are never stored on your systems... but that removes more sellable data...

      1. KroSha

        Re: mmm cake; where's my cake?

        "You are sort of re-hashing the argument about whether or not Twitter is a platform or a publisher."

        Logically, it would clearly be one or the other. In reality, it's an ideological cess-pool.

    3. iron Silver badge

      Re: mmm cake; where's my cake?

      > only newspapers have mastheads

      The Register is objectively not a newspaper, it is a website, yet I seem to see a masthead at the top of every page. It is even red!

      Not to mention the heads of the masts of every sailing ship I've ever seen or crewed.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Zuck should follow his lead.....

    FB is a bigger fluster cluck. The catch is, he still holds the majority of stock. But go he must. Changing the name is pointless but Zuck thinks the name change is meaningful (for some value of "meaningful").

    1. Recaf
      Alert

      Re: Zuck should follow his lead.....

      Mark Zuckerberg actually only owns about 16% of Meta, but is pretty much the only shareholder with any voting rights.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twitter is actually a Force for Good [for now]

    I find Twitter a breath of Fresh Air, and find out things on there first that the likes of the BBC & other Client Mainstream Media would rather you didn't know.

    They will not allow this to continue.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Twitter is actually a Force for Good [for now]

      Better keep a close eye out then for the BBC Mafia; I'm sure they'll be hunting you now that you've uncovered their cunning plan...

      </sarcasm>

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. iron Silver badge

        Re: Twitter is actually a Force for Good [for now]

        More cunning than a fox who was voted professor of cunning at Oxford university?

    2. skein

      Re: Twitter is actually a Force for Good [for now]

      Hmm, advanced trolling or someone who knows what's _really_ going on?

      Perhaps you could list a few of those Twitter firsts?

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Twitter is actually a Force for Good [for now]

      Yeah because Twitter is such a source of high quality information. How else would we know that George Soros and Bill Gates conspired to inject 5G microchips in our arms under the pretense of the COVID holohoax so they can enact population control?

    4. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Twitter is actually a Force for Good [for now]

      No, it doesn't work that way. Look: let's assume that what you say is true, that there are things mainstream media actively keep hidden, and that these things can get published on Twitter.

      You have to realize that there are also loads of bollocks on Twitter. Anyone can post anything, they can't all be real whistleblowers. There will be lunatics, trolls, and plain old people who are wrong; given how many users there are on Twitter, these would be by far the majority - the real whistleblowers can't possibly number in the millions, or even in the thousands.

      On top of that, it's likely that at least a few of those who look genuine (whatever "look genuine" means) are actively posting propaganda, while pretending to be whistleblowers - I mean, if I wanted to keep the masses in the dark about stuff, that's one of the first things I would do. They'd be pretty damn good at it, too. They'd imitate the writing style of the real deal, and forge their own sources and references. Anyone with the clout to influence newspapers would find this quite trivial in comparison.

      Given that situation, you don't really have any way to tell what's garbage and what isn't. Any time you trust something someone said on Twitter, it's a crap shoot whether they are telling the truth, or they are deranged, or they are trolling you, or they are wrong, or they are actively attempting to deceive you. And the odds are overwhelmingly against you.

      Ultimately, if you distrust mainstream media, then rationally you also should distrust anything posted on open platforms, because it's at least as screwed up as mainstream media, and probably more.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Kane Silver badge

        Re: Twitter is actually a Force for Good [for now]

        "On top of that, it's likely that at least a few of those who look genuine (whatever "look genuine" means) are actively posting propaganda, while pretending to be whistleblowers - I mean, if I wanted to keep the masses in the dark about stuff, that's one of the first things I would do. They'd be pretty damn good at it, too. They'd imitate the writing style of the real deal, and forge their own sources and references. Anyone with the clout to influence newspapers would find this quite trivial in comparison."

        Just to add to this, a recent set of articles on ArsTechnica (here, and here) highlighted the operations of a company explicitly set up to perform exactly this kind of activity.

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Twitter is actually a Force for Good [for now]

      Twitter relies on the media making heavy use of its bite-sized bits of inanity.

  6. DrXym Silver badge

    Hmm

    I don't know his motivations but as a leader of Twitter he seems to have been very hands off at least as far as the end user might be concerned. Too hands off in fact because problems on the system are endemic - bots, trolls, misinformation, state interference. Even when something is done it is usually half-assed and not enforced properly.

    For example COVID-19 misinfo runs rampant on the platform and there is no way to report it. People like Gillian McKeith (and many others with 10,000+ followers) would be permabanned for a single day's worth of stupidity if they bothered to enforce that policy. But they don't.

    Anyway back to Dorsey, it seems weird to choose Square over Twitter. But maybe it's because it's basically just a payment processing firm, so the personal risk, day to day management and the amount of grief is much less than it is with Twitter.

    1. Insert sadsack pun here

      Re: Hmm

      "permabanned for a single day's worth of stupidity"

      Woah, woah, take it easy - if we started banning people from social media for stupidity, how would I fill my free time? You don't seriously want pillocks like me roaming the streets, do you?

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        Twitter has a COVID-19 misinformation policy. It states exactly what it takes to violate the policy and what the penalties are. I could easily find dozens of high profile accounts based in the UK & Ireland that violate Twitter's own policy every single day multiple times.

        People are dying because this shit is amplified and the platform does nothing about it. Since they have a policy why not enforce it ffs.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Hmm

          Since they have a policy why not enforce it ffs.

          Simple answer, money. They'd have to hire tons of fact checkers and then follow up. Much like FB, it's cheaper to ignore for the most part, hire a token crew, and the benefit is pocketing the profits.

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Hands on... hands off... it makes no difference. Bots, trolls, misinformation and state interference are all features of social media. No social media service is free of them.

  7. charlieboywoof
    FAIL

    Single point of woke

  8. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Shame it's not Twitter that's going away instead of Dorsey.

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