Jack Dorsey says Twitter ‘has always tried to do its best’ ahead of $44bn sale to Elon Musk

Twitter founder attempts to address concerns after internal townhall meet amid mass exodus concerns

Shweta Sharma
Saturday 30 April 2022 12:35 BST
Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44bn

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has attempted to allay concerns over the future of the company’s employees after an internal town hall meeting was held with them amid concern over an anticipated mass exodus following Elon Musk’s $44bn (£35bn) deal to buy the platform.

Mr Dorsey, in a series of tweets after the town hall on Friday, wrote that Twitter “has always tried to do its best given the information it has” as fears grow over how the deal will impact staff retention.

Mr Dorsey said it was important to get critical feedback in all its forms but stressed “time and space” was needed to address such issues.

“I have tried taking a break from Twitter recently, but I must say: the company has always tried to do its best given the information it had,” he said.

“Every decision we made was ultimately my responsibility*. In the cases we were wrong or went too far, we admitted it and worked to correct,” he explained.

Mr Dorsey, however, added a rider to his statement, saying it was “crazy and wrong” that individuals and companies bore this responsibility.

The series of tweets come after Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal held the internal townhall to address employee concerns prompted by Tesla chief Mr Musk’s takeover.

A source told Reuters Mr Musk would not make any decisions on job cuts until he assumed ownership of Twitter.

Mr Musk also pitched his lenders on slashing board and executive salaries, Reuters reported.

Mr Dorsey, who did not explicitly address the reason for his tweets, said transparency “both in policy and operations” was the right way to earn trust.

“Whether it’s owned by a company or an open protocol doesn’t matter _as much as_ [sic] deliberately deciding to be open about every decision and why it was made. It’s not easy to do, but it must happen,” he said.

“Doing this work means you’re in the arena. Nothing that is said now matters. What matters is how the service works and acts, and how quickly it learns and improves,” he added.

He said his biggest failing was “that quickness part” but stated he was confident it is being addressed and will be fixed.

Mr Dorsey said in another tweet, without naming anyone, that he did not believe permanent bans on any person or organisation are correct.

“As I’ve said before, I don’t believe any permanent ban (with the exception of illegal activity) is right, or should be possible. This is why we need a protocol that’s resilient to the layers above,” he said.

The platform permanently banned former US president Donald Trump two days after his supporters stormed Capitol Hill on 6 January 2021.

It also temporarily banned the handle of The New York Post newspaper after it published an article related to Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s laptop.

Mr Dorsey, who founded Twitter in 2006, welcomed Mr Musk’s takeover of his company after the announcement but has pointed out that he does not believe anyone should own or run Twitter.

Questions have been raised about online safety on Twitter going forward, given Mr Musk’s belief in absolute free speech.

Critics of the takeover have said the billionaire’s stance as a “free speech absolutist” could mean Twitter’s content moderation rules are loosened and more controversial content is allowed on the site.

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