Twitter to cut hundreds of jobs

I still love Twitter and hope it finds a way forward. But it looks like all the potential suitors have passed on buying it, and job cuts are in the offing.

Twitter Inc., having failed to sell itself, is planning to fire about 8 percent of its workforce as the struggling social-media company prepares to go it alone for the time being. Twitter may eliminate about 300 people, the same percentage it did last year when co-founder Jack Dorsey took over as chief executive officer, according to people familiar with the matter. Planning for the cuts is still fluid and the number could change, they added. The people asked not to be identified talking about private company plans.

The other day, "George Zimmerman" was trending again. It was right there in the little box on the homepage. When you clicked on this hashtag, the second result was (and still is) an exhortation to follow a fake/ironic George Zimmerman account, with this bio:

zimmerman

Perhaps I get unique results for some algorithmic or settings-based reason that escapes me; it shows up irrespective of whether I have the "sensitive media" content filters checked. It looks like anyone from Salesforce or Disney who fired up Twitter last week and clicked on this promoted topical hashtag got this in their face. Maybe it's naive to think they would have been influenced by this, or that it's an easy thing to exclude at Twitter's scale. But I can't escape the nagging feeling that it being there represents a decision. I don't get it.

So I guess my question is this: what value is there in telling those who click on a top trending hashtag what Fake George Zimmerman hates?

Notable Replies

  1. Love the idea that excluding racial slurs from trending topics and the like is some elaborate machine-learning conundrum of political bias and nailbiting algorithmic decision tree failure

  2. Oh yes, "censorship."

    These objections often come down to "If we exclude certain words from trending topics, or from accounts we tell people to follow, people might not trend! Oh dear Constitution, they won't be promoted! 1984 wasn't supposed to be an instruction manual! "

  3. Plus, he gets to spend all day listening to rock 'n' roll.

  4. As a publicly-traded, privately owned corporation incapable of offering or guaranteeing anything remotely resembling free speech in the first place, and perfectly willing to squelch copyright infringements, parodies, political speech and the varieties of abuse it doesn't tolerate, Twitter flew off the precipice years ago. Slippery slopes indeed!

  5. I mean, come on, I'm not even saying Fake George Zimmerman should be banned. I'm just saying that just maybe putting him and his racist bullshit on the front page of your site while the billionaire proprietors of Disneyworld are kicking its tires exemplifies a business problem.

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