SCOTT GALLOWAY: Removing Jack Dorsey as CEO should be the first step on Twitter Redemption Road

Every day, 187 million people open Twitter for information, entertainment and social contacts. This is the real-time global communications network that science fiction novelists envisioned. It’s also a catalyst for conspiracy theories, a forum for hate speech, and a surprisingly lousy business. In this week’s issue of New York Magazine (February 1, 2021), I argue that Twitter’s toxicity and poor financial results are one and the same problem, capable of one and the same solution. Fixing Twitter starts at the top – replacing an absent CEO – and from there changes the company’s business model. The potential rewards are worth it both economically and socially. Since going public in 2013, Twitter has lagged the market, increasing its share price to just 2% a year. For years I have advocated a change in Twitter’s business model for the commonwealth as well as the benefit of shareholders (disclosure: shareholder). The need for this change is greater than ever. Donald Trump’s choice – and his productive use of the platform – has brought Vaseline to the target of this chronic underperformance. The traffic and engagement that Trump brought to the platform (26,000 tweets and 1,000 tags per minute) helped reverse the 63% decline in Twitter’s share price since it was publicly offered. Significantly, when Twitter banned Trump’s account, the stock fell instantly, reducing the company’s market cap by $ 5 billion before slowly gaining ground.

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