Thursday, October 20, 2016

Internet Harassers Reduce Value of Twitter

Here's an interesting story via CNBC (note: video autoplays at link. Ugh, WHY?).

Software company Salesforce was apparently in talks to acquire Twitter. However, its stock fell during these talks as investors expressed concerns about the platform:
"Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff ruled out a bid for Twitter in part from concern about the social platform's reputation for handling online abuse and trolls, according to CNBC's Jim Cramer on Monday.
'What's happened is, a lot of the bidders are looking at people with lots of followers and seeing the hatred,' Cramer said on 'Squawk on the Street.'
He continued, 'Twitter says listen, we have a filter. I mean the filter filters out a very small amount of the haters, and I know that the haters reduce the value of the company.'

Last week, a Financial Times report said that Benioff had ruled out a bid for Twitter, after weeks of speculation that the company could indeed acquire the company.

Salesforce confirmed Benioff's comments to CNBC and declined to comment further. Twitter shares fell as much as 8 percent following the report."
We hear a lot from Internet harassers who believe they have a "free speech right" to harass with impunity on the tech and social media platforms they use. We don't hear as much about how their harassment leads to tangible financial loss for these platforms. I suspect that will change.

Sadly, financial loss is what will likely induce companies to better address harassment. The "mere" fact that people are being harassed isn't a compelling enough reason for many companies to develop more effective solutions for harassment.

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