Twitter should not be blamed entirely for the rise of Donald Trump, according to Evan Williams, Twitter co-founder and former CEO. Williams feels that the media should be blamed more than Twitter.
The media more responsible for Trump’s rise
In an interview with the BBC’s Radio 4, Williams said the bigger issue is “not Donald Trump using Twitter that got him elected, even if he says so; it is the quality of the information we consume…..”
Williams, who already apologized in May for how Twitter was used during the election campaign, said there is a media system that progresses as attention is given to a person or subject. According to the Twitter co-founder, it is “making us all dumber, not smarter, and Donald Trump is a symptom of that.” Further, Williams said that a grave concern is the quality of the information that is reinforcing dangerous beliefs, dividing people and limiting their open-mindedness and respect for the truth.
Williams said Twitter is an ad-driven media outlet that offers new content almost every minute. The only parameter to weigh popularity is the number of clicks because it is the company’s source of income. Therefore, offering Trump’s or anyone else’s latest tweet “is an effective way to exploit people’s base instincts, and that is dumbing the entire world down,” Williams said.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also does not agree that giving a platform to Trump is wrong, but for different reasons.
A couple of weeks ago, he said, “I believe it’s really important to hear directly from our leadership.”
Dorsey, who was even blamed for deviating from the company’s terms of service by not blocking Trump’s account, said it is really important to hold them accountable and start the conversation out in the open.
Twitter co-founder is working to make the Internet better
There is some substance in what Williams is saying. Journalists spend more time on Twitter than the population as a whole. There are stories on the platform, and users like Trump are fully aware of the power of this medium.
The Twitter co-founder is focusing on changing the way the Internet works. Currently, he is concentrating on Medium, a self- publishing platform. He said that in his latest venture, they are looking to build an alternative to the traditional online media model, which earns revenue through advertisements. The company is finding out new ways to get subscribers to pay to read articles on the platform.
“There needs to be information we can trust, which means it has to be funded not by advertising alone. Because that distorts everything,” Williams said.
He also thinks that Internet companies should play a greater role in handling online abuse.
“Providers of information systems and the platforms that our media get decimated on have a big responsibility. It includes removing stuff,” he said.
Trump’s ardent fans are not happy with what William had to say. However, the funny side is that these fans are abusing the wrong Evan Williams, in a way, proving what the real Williams has to say about how broken the Internet is, notes alphr.