So I left. I left because I believe Twitter has a social responsibility to help make the world a better place. All companies do. We need to challenge the idea that a CEO’s primary mission is to make money for shareholders. That may be one of their missions, but to single that out as a primary mission is irresponsible. Society simply can’t afford for your business to make money without regard to the impact it has on the environment. We learned this when McDonald’s cleared the Amazon to raise beef. Society simply can’t afford for your business to make money without regard to the impact it has on your clients physical well-being. We learned this when Philip Morris was knowingly shoving cancer in our lungs. Society simply can’t afford for your business to make money without regard to the impact it has on our mental well-being. We’re learning this now as Jack Dorsey lines the bank accounts of his shareholders with the fruits of our anxiety.
Twitter has purposefully, knowingly used anxiety and fear to build a business. Donald Trump may indeed be the instrument of our destruction, but Jack Dorsey handed him the platform to do it. Twitter is the most dangerous company in the world, and it’s run by an idiot.
At this point I truly believe Twitter to be a toxic product. It poisons your mind. It’s harmful and hazardous to your mental health. And furthermore I believe everyone in a leadership position at Twitter knows this as well, and they continue to peddle the toxicity. (If you’re arguing they don’t realize the toxicity of their product, please consider that may actually be worse.) Twitter makes money by hurting you. They are no better than big tobacco or big pharma. They’re willing to trade your health for profit.
For years I’ve laid in bed at night, unable to sleep, thinking of what I could have done. Thinking of how I was in a position to build a communication platform that united people, a communication platform that brought people together, a communication platform that might connect an elementary school student in Sri Lanka with her favorite writer in London, or a musician in New Orleans with a jazz fan in Tokyo, or a young man in the Dominican Republic with his favorite ball player in Toronto. There was a time when Twitter made those relationships possible. That time is gone. And it died on my watch.
Social media is asymmetrical. You can break your democracy by spending all your time on it— but you probably can’t fix one that way. All the tweets and status updates in the world won’t rewrite a constitution to include a right to healthcare, force a tyrant to resign, or expand a society’s notion of what politics really is, can be, or should be — precisely because it distracts and disempowers us from genuinely engaging with the difficult work of self-governance and citizenship.
The Right wants to undercut the voices of #MeToo, a fact evidenced by the fake “She knew” Streep posters. There are marches coming up, another massive show of power linked to the voices of women. It is no accident that Streep has been a trusted spokesperson for the Left and she’s being targeted. We must stand together, not as “One,” but side by side, stepping forward, not distracted by revisionist history.
I had heard some rumors over the years but no evidence, and ascribed it to grumbling by victims, male and female, of his bullying. Harvey had two faces, as others have remarked. All talented killers, rapists, and liars lead double lives. He respected and needed Meryl Streep and Judi Dench, and I’m sure he was careful to ensure they knew nothing. Forgive me for saying this because I regard both women as sexy as hell, but Harvey most likely didn’t regard either woman as “sexual.”