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posted by martyb on Tuesday May 23 2017, @12:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the closing-the-barn-door dept.

If anyone knows how important Twitter is to Donald Trump, it's the president.

“Without the tweets, I wouldn't be here,” he told the Financial Times last month.

To which Twitter's co-founder says: Sorry about that, world.

Evan Williams, who still sits on the company's board of directors, recently told The New York Times that he wants to repair the damage he thinks Twitter and the broader Internet have wrought on society in the form of trolls, cyberbullies, live-streamed violence, fake news and — yes — Trump.

“I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place,” Williams told the Times. “I was wrong about that.”

“If it’s true that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry,” he said.

Is Twitter responsible?


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Hyperturtle on Tuesday May 23 2017, @03:38PM (2 children)

    by Hyperturtle (2824) on Tuesday May 23 2017, @03:38PM (#514308)

    Interesting in that you chose a hammer as your example. Hammers cannot be applied to all things, as the arguments often end up being more complicated than how simple a nail is.

    Considering the hammer and any blacksmith's remorse or regrets for the application of hammers, I have read that the Nobel Peace Prize was selected as one of the prizes by Nobel, due to his misgivings about various inventions of his being used for warfare--as well as for productivity. It appears that he had his doubts about some of his inventions.

    Publically, he said no such thing--but did create the Peace Prize as one of the categories for reward. There has been no real reason provided as to why that category had been created amongst the others; the fact that his hammers had been used for things other than the common good may very well have been the motivating factors.

    It is not ill-conceived to believe that someone thought high-mindedly about their inventions or ideas, only to find what happens when people with somewhat different scruples come into contact with the idea and repurpose it for their own benefit. The inventor might have wished to have perhaps done things differently, if they only could.

    Regret is not a bad thing, but sometimes regret is misplaced. I think the real issue here is that not all people are the same and it is not realistic to expect that everyone will behave as a high-minded academic. Maybe if it wasn't for free, he'd have attracted only people that had something worth paying to read.

    However, it initially was created as a means to defeat SMS text messaging fees (or so I recall anyway--that was the rationalization at the time that I remember people saying), and so charging for it was out of the question. I am not sure why it was opened up for public access to read whatever wasn't marked private, but I guess the sharing economy has its drawbacks, especially since Twitter has not really found a way to be profitable from their mistakes.

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  • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Tuesday May 23 2017, @09:08PM

    by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Tuesday May 23 2017, @09:08PM (#514522)

    Hammers cannot be applied to all things, as the arguments often end up being more complicated than how simple a nail is.

    It can be used for all repairs. One can take you very quickly from "this doesn't work and I don't know why" to "this doesn't work and we need a new one".

  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday May 24 2017, @11:56AM

    by c0lo (156) on Wednesday May 24 2017, @11:56AM (#514755) Journal

    the fact that his hammers had been used for things other than the common good may very well have been the motivating factors.

    I oscillate quite a long time between Touche and Insightful.
    Thanks for giving me the reason for doing so.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0