3 thoughts on “The End of Twitter

  1. Interesting read and appears relevant to last weeks’ class discussion concerning entrepreneurs desire to create innovative business models, ideas and technology, while fighting the legal framework they think holds them back. The article notes that during the Boston Marathon bombing millions followed the tragedy via twitter. In 2013, Twitter stood as a platform for anyone to use 140 characters to express their opinions and views about the day’s news, gossip and information. However, in recent years Twitter’s popularity fell because of their failure to fight online abuse. As Viktor Mayer-Schönberger puts it, “entrepreneurs view the legal system as their enemy.” Twitter must instead work with the legal world to expand their company and keep it safe from predators rather than let in ruin them. Twitter’s restart must assert itself by channeling their innovative ideas by using the legal system to facilitate their ideas rather than let it impede their growth.

  2. Although it is true that companies such as Twitter may use the legal world to try keep it safe from predators by implementing “one identity” policies such as Facebook, the lack of enforceability of those policies leaves the companies with not much control. For example, in United States v. Drew, the mother (Lori Drew) of a teenage girl was charged with violating MySpace’s policy against having fake accounts when she created a fake profile under the name “Josh Evans” in order to bully one of her daughter’s classmates. The daughter’s classmate eventually committed suicide as a result of the bullying and Lori Drew was charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. In ruling in favor Drew and dismissing the charge, the judge stated that enforcing such a policy would “basically leave[] it up to a website owner to determine what a crime is . . . And therefore [would] criminalize[] what what would be a breach of contract.” Additionally, preventing people from creating “fake” profiles or from otherwise hiding their true identity online presents issues for those in the LGBT community who may not want others, such as family, friends, and coworkers, to know of their online identity. I do believe there are other ways to fight online abuse/harassment such as shutting down accounts that are engaged in such action, which is something I believe Twitter has been actively engaged in and can continue to improve and expand upon.

  3. I agree with the author, although I am probably more cynical about Twitter. Twitter is largely irrelevant at this point. Twitter has become a basic one function app. If and when Facebook decides that having a tweet function, character limit, or similar app is a profitable move, Facebook will do it. While Twitter has relied on its one core function, the Tweet, Facebook has branched out by acquiring Instagram and Whatsapp. The author says its stock price is not an issue citing its ability to run for over 400 years at its current loss level. However, this point largely overlooks the fact that a 60% stock decline in one year signifies a serious lack of optimism among investors, not to mention lagging user growth. RIP Twitter.