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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, Touché) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday May 23 2017, @04:12PM (3 children)

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 23 2017, @04:12PM (#514343) Journal

    Butbutbutbut tweets don't destroy nations, tweeters do! :v

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    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2017, @04:32PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2017, @04:32PM (#514354)

    Well, it's true. Twitter didn't force anybody to vote one way or another last November. Twitter itself also isn't a satisfactory scapegoat in my mind for the state of our culture such that a service like Twitter can sway elections.

    But I think I'm comfortable staying silent in the event of Twitter-control measures even if that runs counter to the First Amendment. Who knows, maybe the right to keep and bear tweets can be reinterpreted as a collective right.

    • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Tuesday May 23 2017, @05:17PM (1 child)

      by quacking duck (1395) on Tuesday May 23 2017, @05:17PM (#514386)

      But I think I'm comfortable staying silent in the event of Twitter-control measures even if that runs counter to the First Amendment

      Twitter is a private entity, and they aren't a regulated utility, so they aren't restricted by the first amendment.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2017, @08:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23 2017, @08:23PM (#514508)

        Same AC here. Of course Twitter can control Twitter all it pleases. I clicked up the comment tree, and I see where I might have created confusion. Gun manufacturers are free to apologize all they want for gun violence, just like Twitter is apologizing here for... ¿tweet violence?.

        These Twitter-control measures would be exactly like gun control measures, enacted by the government, which is why I picked that wording. They would have to dance around the First Amendment the exact same way gun control measures have to dance around the Second Amendment (which in my personal view is an individual right but not to digress).

        Not only that, but if we're talking about a law to regulate Twitter specifically, that sounds a lot like a bill of attainder, which would be another no-no. So it'd have to be some kind of regulation directed at short message services With a Computer™ On the Internet™ (so as not to be confused with regular cellular Short Message Service).

        And of course the final disclaimer, where I enter dangerous territory by, er... not speaking up when they come for the twits. If I understand how the Illuminati or whoever do this thing, it'll be Trump in power until 2024 and then we'll get some D team person in power until 2032 who would presumably start the initiative for Twit Control Legislation. Afterwards, in 2040, if there hasn't been a violent and even-more-bloody-than-the-first second civil war, it'll be an R team person in power who will then be able to craft Twit Control Legislation of their own.

        But I'll be retiring then so I only have an extremely limited amount of fucks to give.