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[Slashdot] - Disney Almost Bought Twitter in 2016

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This fall saw the release of an autobiography by former Disney CEO Bob Iger (2005 to 2020) titled The Ride of a Lifetime. And Friday Bloomberg reporter Kurt Wagner shared an interesting excerpt (spotted by blogger John Gruber) in which Iger reveals he saw Twitter as "a potentially powerful platform for us, but I couldn't get past the challenges that would come with it." The challenges and controversies were almost too much to list, but they included how to manage hate speech, and making fraught decisions regarding freedom of speech, what to do about fake accounts algorithmically spewing out political "messaging" to influence elections, and the general rage and lack of civility that was sometimes evident on the platform. Those would become our problems. They were so unlike any we'd encountered, and I felt they would be corrosive to the Disney brand. On the Sunday after the board had just given me the go-ahead to pursue the acquisition of Twitter, I sent a note to all of the members telling them I had "cold feet", and explaining my reasoning for withdrawing. Then I called Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO, who was also a member of the Disney board. Jack was stunned, but very polite. I wished Jack luck, and I hung up feeling relieved. Blogger John Gruber speculates that a Twitter owned by Disney "would be a very different Twitter today."

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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