Twitter is in takeover talks with Google,, and other potential buyers

Jack Dorsey, chairman of Twitter and CEO of Square REUTERS/Rebecca Cook and Google are two of the technology giants who have expressed interest in a possible buyout of the struggling social media firm Twitter, according to various reports.

Reuters describes today's news leak as “the start of what is likely to be a slow-rolling auction of the high-profile but money-losing social media company.”

CNBC reported the Twitter sale talks rumors, citing anonymous sources. Twitter is in talks with companies including Google/Alphabet, and may receive a formal bid from them soon. Citing an anonymous source, Reuters says is also pursuing Twitter.


Twitter and Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company did not respond to a request for comment. Salesforce declined to comment. Verizon, another company mentioned in media reports on Friday as a possible suitor, said it did not comment on M&A rumors but that it had not submitted a bid for the company.

From Mike Isaac et al, at the New York Times:

Twitter, based in San Francisco, is talking with, Google and others about a possible takeover of the company, people briefed on the discussions said on Friday. The talks are in the early stages, these people said, with no guarantee that a deal will be reached. In particular, Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, is resistant to selling to some of the potential acquirers, they said.

Twitter is also weighing a possible revamping that could involve divestitures and layoffs, the people said. Two divisions that Twitter is considering divesting itself of are Vine, the mobile six-second video service, and MoPub, a mobile advertising business, they said.

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Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds suspended from Twitter after suggesting motorists run down protestors


"Run them down" seems to be the tweet that got another prominent right-wing personality turfed out of Twitter. Motoring Tip: it's the police that get to kill without consequence, not you. Even if it makes you angry to see black people rioting, and super-angry when they're in the way of a real American's car. Yes, even then!

As is always the case with these things, it's not clear if the ban is permanent, whether it was for that specific tweet or for other reasons Twitter won't disclose, whether Reynolds thought he was being funny, or exactly how sustained the footstamping will be from white supremacists.

(Apart from the predictable, if plainly stupid belief that it's OK to run over "thugs", they're saying that "run them down" means something other than "hit people with your car". For them, the tragedy of speechcropping on Twitter is that Twitter gets to decide what it means.)

UPDATE: Reynolds is back. His account was suspended until he agreed to delete the Tweet, he reports:

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Here's what you need to know about Twitter's new character limit update


Twitter has been struggling to attract new users and retain existing ones. In a long-awaited update for the social network, Twitter announced today that video, still images, animated GIFs, polls, and quotes will no longer apply to the 140-character limit for tweets.

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Julian Assange volunteers to be imprisoned in the USA if Obama gives Chelsea Manning clemency


Wikileaks has tweeted an offer for founder Julian Assange to leave the Ecuadorean embassy where he has been a political asylum seeker since 2012, and turn himself in for a US jail sentence, if President Obama grants clemency Chelsea Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence for providing documents to Wikileaks while serving in the US Army. Read the rest

California's "gang" database is a sick joke; today, you can do something about it


Dave Maass from Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, "A coalition of social justice and digital rights groups are tweeting at Gov. Jerry Brown today to demand he sign A.B. 2298, a bill that would bring new accountability measures to CalGang, the state's troubled gang database. Read the rest

Kyle "Paul Atreides" McLachlan explains Dune with a single tweet


The movie Dune was spectacular but incomprehensible: a boiling-down of a huge science fiction epic into a couple of hours of action. Star Kyle McLachlan, however, can fit the whole thing into a tweet, using only emoji. The Tweeter must awaken!

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Snowden explains the Shadow Brokers/Equation Group/NSA hack

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The news that a group of anonymous hackers claimed to have stolen some of the NSA's most secret, valuable weaponized vulnerabilities and were auctioning them off for bitcoin triggered an epic tweetstorm from Edward Snowden, who sets out his hypothesis for how the exploits were captured and what relation that has to the revelations he made when he blew the whistle on illegal NSA spying in 2013. Read the rest

Paperback Paradise: remixing vintage book-covers to reveal their hilarious, lewd subtext

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Since March, the unnamed genius behind Paperback Paradise has been remixing the often dreadful covers of vintage paperback novels, refining their base material into golden lewd, hilarious new work. (via Richard Kadrey) Read the rest

“A honeypot for assholes”: Inside Twitter’s 10-year failure to stop harassment


Charlie Warzel of Buzzfeed has written a long piece about Twitter's apparently inability to prevent neo-Nazis, rape apologists, death threats, and racism from flourishing on the platform.

In 2013, Caroline Criado-Perez launched a campaign to put Jane Austen on UK currency and quickly became the target of more than 50 rape threats per hour — which forced Twitter to roll out a “report abuse” feature for individual tweets. The feature came roughly six years into the company’s history and more than five years after [Ariel] Waldman’s ordeal. “It feels like, not only did they have opportunities early on to tackle this, but they had the ability to step up and be a leader in this space — to be proactive instead of reactive,” Waldman said. “That they haven’t done that is beyond me and it’s reckless.”

Around that time, high-profile harassment cases became a weekly, if not daily, occurrence, especially in the UK. Sinéad O’Connor was driven off the service in 2011; she later told the Daily Mail she was “getting too much abuse.” Downton Abbey actor Lily James quit after she became the target of hundreds of hateful tweets about her appearance. Actor Matt Lucas had to shut down his account after trolls wouldn’t stop harassing him after the death of his partner. In the US, stories of Twitter harassment of women, people of color, and religious minorities appeared with increasing frequency, coming to a head in August 2014, when Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda was forced to quit Twitter after trolls flooded her mentions with photoshopped images of her recently deceased father.

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Trump only writes the angry tweets, the nice ones are written by a staffer with an Iphone


On August 6, artist Todd Vaziri observed that all of Trump's angry tweets come from the Twitter client for Android, while the more presidential, less batshit ones come from an Iphone; Vaziri speculated that the latter were sent by a staffer. Read the rest

Chicago cops switched off bodycams and high-fived after shooting unarmed black teen


The Chicago Independent Police Review Authority has released a video showing the aftermath of the July 28 police shooting of an unarmed black man, in which the officers checked to ensure that their body-cameras were switched off and then gave each other high fives. Read the rest

Instagram announces anti-harassment tools, overtaking Twitter


Twitter's openness is its strength, and also its weakness: the ease with which new accounts can be created makes it into an amazing tool for free expression, and also a perfect venue for vicious harassment (see also); but Instagram (a division of Facebook, the home of the walled garden) has announced a suite of anti-harassment tools that seem like they'd be compatible with Twitter, raising the obvious question: why hasn't Twitter already deployed them? Read the rest

Twitter verification still not for the crowd


I'm not bitter or anything, but Twitter has denied my request for verification. Read the rest

Clay Shirky to white liberals: Trump could win, so here's what you have to do


In an epic Twitter tear, Clay Shirky addresses white liberals who are horrified by the rise of Trump and reminds them that "Trump IS the voice of angry whites. He wasn't on stage because he has unusual views. He was on stage because he has the usual ones, loudly." Read the rest

Coffee table book of photos of Brutalist architecture: This Brutal World


Peter Chadwick -- he runs the @brutalhouse stream of loving photos of imposing brutalist monuments -- has teamed up with Phaedon to publish a coffee-table book of the biggest, most uncompromising hulking monsters of the bygone age of concrete futurism: This Brutal World. Read the rest

Twitter shuts down PostGhost, eliminates record of deleted tweets


PostGhost kept a record of everything that Twitter's Verified users said, even deleted tweets that may have been embarrassing or otherwise reputation impacting. Twitter sent PostGhost a cease and desist letter, effectively eliminating this public record of stuff that people have said but no longer want read.

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David Cameron's swan song (ringtone edition)


If you, like me, heard former UK Prime Minister David Cameron's post-abdication accidentally captured odd tune and self-affirmation and thought, "That's my next ringtone," then here you go.

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