When he was playing by joining Twitter or buying the company this week, Elon Musk posted a number of ideas on the platform, ranging from the “free speech” offer to the tweets editing button. User waves are heavy, knowing full well that any changes can be made in the home. But what if ordinary Twitter users had real power over these decisions? Instead of just liking it and repeating it, what if they would say and vote on the issues that affected their online experiences?
The Twitter ownership problem started long before Musk’s actions began. Conversations with areas where Twitter is regularly, legally, purchased and sold. The prospect of giving an important part of the development of this democracy to the richest man in the world is a hallmark of the system.
Musk’s goal of monitoring Twitter instead of democracy and free speech is well known. In 2018 he he promised listeners to the South and Southwest that there will be a direct democracy in its territories on Mars — even as it hinders the integration of Tesla employees. And in 2020, when the epidemic broke out, it forced the production of Tesla to resume in Fremont, California, in defiance of what local health officials had suggested, which led to the outbreak. Giving absolute power to one person is not the best way to achieve more democracy.
In 2016, our concern about Twitter vulnerability prompted us to set up Buy Twitter, a campaign launched when the company encountered another acquisition problem, either by Salesforce, or possibly by Disney. With many partners and shareholders, we suggested that the company learn how to transform consumer ownership into a democratic state. User groups are able to learn and create great team ideas for voting. Perhaps users will be able to dispute and select corrective measures, for example, and place those who have encountered a problem on the platform by deciding how to avoid it in the future. Perhaps cultivating a good community property would be more important for businesses than raising the share price.
“It sounds great,” WIRED said at the time! We cited examples of permanent ownership and accountability such as the Associated Press, a global nonprofit organization with thousands of media organizations operating, and the Green Bay Packers, a fan favorite football team of its own. Following the media upheaval, our campaign culminated with a vote at the 2017 Twitter share conference. Nearly 5 percent of all Twitter shares voted in favor – not the win, but the first confirmation of an idea that has been circulating ever since.
No major and established professional company like Twitter has turned into a consumer. But over the years, more and more signs of hope for a democratic profession have appeared. Twitter alone probably followed our ideas, at least a little bit. In 2019, he is CEO Jack Dorsey he announced Bluesky, a project “to create an open and transparent approach to social media.” This can lead to networks with multiple types of ownership and management, rather than a single company.
The former is facing severe financial and cultural pressure to “leave” the purchase of a large company or go public on the market. These pressures drive the many dangerous risks that technology brings to people today, because they are looking for every benefit. A good start requires better methods. From our #BuyTwitter campaign, we have created a “out-of-the-box” game book with a variety of startups who want to ensure that users and employees benefit in the long run. With the Zebras Unite marketing team, in 2020 we have teamed up with 12 startups to develop a game book, and since then we have talked with about 100 companies, from platform start-up artists to mad teams, all exploring ways to change the region.