At Twitter, It Seems No One Can Hear the Screams
The platform wants to be a conversational mecca despite all the vitriolic rage
On Tuesday, Twitter hosted a small press event at its headquarters in San Francisco. It was a hot day, a welcome break from the city’s characteristic fog. The second floor of the newly remodeled building was filled with employees in T-shirts and sundresses, buzzing with excitement among tables stocked with popcorn and cupcake shooters. Tech companies host these kinds of show-and-tell soirées every now and then. It’s a chance to ingratiate executives with the press and steer the narrative about the company. (This does not always go according to plan.)
In Twitter’s case, the on-the-record event marked an occasion to trumpet how the company is taking responsibility for its past and charging bravely into the future. A dozen employees, working in teams including product and policy, took turns telling reporters about their recent work. One of them, Sriram Krishnan, offered a metaphor: Let’s say you’re at a house party. You’re searching for someone to talk to, but you feel awkward sidling up to a stranger. What if you could easily find the table with all the people who love tech news as much as you do, or the couch full of Kevin Durant fans? And what if there were hundreds of millions of people at this party, all rosy-faced and full of friendship potential? That, he said, is what Twitter is like: the best damn party on the internet.
Except it’s not.
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