Twitter seems like a good product. Even up until the time of this article, I am still using it. However, some questions arise in regards to how Twitter is functioning and even its origin story.
This post makes me question Jack Dorsey on some things, and makes me wonder on what the future of sites like Twitter are? What is even the future of big tech in general? Does Twitter need to break up or change its current practices?
A major concern I have is in regards to the origin of Twitter. When I am inclined to do some research, I stumbled upon an old Techcrunch article entitled, Odeo Releases Twttr. I also found an interesting video online by a popular independent film maker. It is entitled, "Scandal and Betrayal: The Story of How Twitter Started", and can be seen here. The video in question raises concerns about the less commonly known Twitter co-founder Noah Glass.
Noah Glass seemed to push the idea of Jack Dorsey pursuing Twitter. He came up with the name Twttr. Even Evan Williams seemed not to be so into the concept of Twitter. Something very suspicious isn't only that Noah Glass seemed to be forced out of the company, but that Evan Williams bought back early Twitter related shares from investors, making it look like he is saving them from grief. Twitter shortly surged in value afterwords. Years later an unrelated investor lawsuit against Twitter claimed that Twitter execs inflated share price in a different incident.
Outside of this, Twitter used to be known as playground of ideas. It used to be thought off as a platform promoting intellectual diversity. However, growing concerns of censorship has been going on. This isn't even with Twitter, but with social media giants in general. I personally had to delete my Facebook profile over censorship concerns I believe may have been preventing my brand growth. I also had to recently privatize my personal Twitter account because of censorship concerns and a dropped following in a certain political niche.
Now, in my opinion I am being censored. Although, I am not trying to directly say it or that I'm certain of the censorship, things are looking suspicious.
Both Facebook and Twitter has censorship concerns. They also have privacy concerns. An example is that early on in the founding of Facebook, Zuckerberg at the time still called his early users "dumb f*cks", which have been confirmed. That being said, some people are still trying to defend social media moguls. Slate for example, said that social media fact checking isn't censorship.
However, Twitter isn't a moderation platform. Removing misinfo, hate speech, etc. isn't part of Twitter's job. I say allow the dumb statements to be there in order for them to be ridiculed and point out why they are dumb. If you allow someone to censor something because it is incorrect, you are slowly giving them the authoritarian power to state what they believe is incorrect. Eventually you are seeing stuff being scrubbed that may not even be factually incorrect, but on the side of a controversial opinion.
Outside of social media, you even have actual moderation platforms also being criticized of bias. This includes the previous Wikipedia co-founder saying a need for decentralization over centralized authorities.
Now I don't want to include every platform I believe could be in the wrong as part of this article. I don't even want to say that they are doing wrong. I'm also the type of person who is in support of things such as CDA 230. Someone like Jack Dorsey is a philanthropist, and is trying to play the moral high ground. He also wanted to provide computers and internet access to children, so he seems like a decent guy. However, many people are questioning how Twitter started, if they are doing selective bias, and the Twitter algorithm.
These questions are questions that I am hoping someone as philanthropic as Jack Dorsey can come clean on.
I also am working on a Decentralized Internet, researching free speech social networks and looking for a decentralized, more intellectually diverse future. I think many of us could aim for a better future, and follow in the footsteps of legends such as Daryl Davis, as well as those fighting for civil discussion and intellectual diversity.